The storm is now in the South China Sea and is moving west-northwest at 11km per hour with wind speeds of 185kph at 2 PM local time, October 19th, 2010 and reached the 15th grade, one grade up from October 17th. As a mega storm, the area Megi covers and poses a threat is widespread, with the danger area of the storm with strong winds being 200km in diameter. Typhoon Megi’s winds are forecast to strengthen again as high as 213 kph while it is crossing the South China Sea. That will upgrade the storm to a Category 4 which is capable of catastrophic damage, according to the Saffir-Simpson scale and the U.S. National Hurricane Center. It is expected to severely affect China’s coast, and China’s Disaster Relief Commission has issued warnings for the southern regions of Hainan, Guangdong, Guanxi and Fujan to prepare for relief operations yesterday, according to the official Xinhau News Agency. From the current tracking maps, it looks as if the tracking will take it right over Hong Kong. Latest tracking imagery available HERE.
Typhoon Megi was a strong Category 5 storm when it struck the northern Philippines Island of Luzon Monday, leaving at least 10 dead, while still dumping torrential rains in the area making rescue efforts difficult to say the least. The strong winds have dissipated, but the rain remains as its track towards Southern China stalled and it hovered near Luzon throughout Tuesday. It has a radius of 300 kilometers, or 190 miles, and officials expect the rains to continue to affect the Philippines until Tuesday Night.
The death toll is still somewhat vague, as most communications are down and the full extent of damage to hit the area is still unknown. There are reports from the eastern region of Luzon of homes destroyed, utility poles downed, and many roads blocked due to downed trees. Of course, the electricity is gone as well, with the power lines being down. There were reports of waves as high as houses in Maconacon, which had it’s town plaza swamped by them. The storm surge here in Maconacon also is responsible for the deaths of three residents from drowning. The rice crop is expected to suffer severe losses, with estimates of 10 % of the rice crop in the Cagayan Valley, which is the second largest production area for the Island Nation, had been damaged.