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Typhoon Soulik to Slam Taiwan

Powerful Typhoon Soulik will strike northern Taiwan, bringing destructive winds, flooding rain, mudslides and inundating storm surge.

Widespread property damage will be possible across the north, especially near the expected landfall in northeastern Taiwan, which should take place Friday night, local time.

The storm's severe winds will also pound the southernmost Ryukyu Islands of Japan. These lie east of Taiwan.

As of late Thursday afternoon, local time, the eye of Typhoon Soulik was within 340 miles (550 km) east-southeast of Taipei, tracking westward at 16 mph (26 km/h). Highest sustained winds were about 110 mph (175 km/h) with higher gusts.

Soulik's damaging winds and flooding rains will brush the southern Ryukyus on Friday, local time. Soulik will then sweep across northern Taiwan on Friday night with winds potentially above 100 mph (160 km/h) near its site of landfall.

Taipei, while somewhat sheltered from the worst of the storm, will be subject to damaging winds, potentially topping 75 mph (120 km/h).

Heavy rainfall of 4-8 inches (10-20 cm) will be widespread in Taiwan through Saturday with 1- to 2-foot (30- to 60-cm) amounts over the mountain spine of the island. Flash flooding and mudslides will pose significant threats.

Storm surge in the northeast could rise 6 to 10 feet (about 2 to 3 meters) above normal high tide as Soulik slams on shore.

Interaction with mountainous Taiwan will weaken Soulik before its expected second landfall on mainland China, likely in Fujian near Fuchou. Nevertheless, Soulik will still be capable of damaging winds and flooding rains as its sweeps inland on Saturday.