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Super typhoon Nepartak takes aim at Taiwan
Taiwan is bracing for the region’s first super typhoon of 2016, which is expected to grow in speed and power before it hits the island around Thursday evening local time. In just 48 hours, Nepartak has rapidly strengthened from a tropical storm with wind speeds of 110 kilometers per hour (70 miles per hour) to a roaring super typhoon with winds hitting 240 kph (150 mph) — and it could surge even higher. Until now, the northwest Pacific had experienced its longest streak on record without a named storm, totaling 200 days since December 2015, after several severe typhoons in the previous year caused millions of U.S. dollars of damage to Taiwan as well as at least eight deaths..
Super Typhoon Nepartak could become this year’s first Category 5 storm
Super Typhoon Nepartak has exploded in intensity in the Northwest Pacific Ocean, becoming the strongest tropical cyclone worldwide so far this year. Nepartak is forecast to strengthen further, reaching Category 5 super typhoon status within the next 24 hours, before weakening slightly, back to a Category 4 storm, as it nears Taiwan on July 7. As of Tuesday afternoon, the storm had peak sustained winds of 150 miles per hour, which puts it at the brink of Category 5 intensity.
Super Typhoon Nepartak is located about 950 miles southeast of Taipei and was moving west-northwestward at 21 miles per hour. This general movement is forecast to continue during the next few days. The latest forecast from the U.S. Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) shows the center of the storm passing near or directly over the bustling city of Taipei on July 7 at Category 4 intensity. This could cause significant damage from the storm’s strong winds and storm surge…