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Typhoon Megi to blast Taiwan with damaging winds and flooding rain

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Strong Typhoon Megi will blast Taiwan and eastern China with hazardous flooding as the latest tropical system to spin through the region.

Early Monday night, rain from Megi moved into Japan's southernmost Ryukyu Islands and eastern Taiwan creating blustery conditions, but the most intense winds remained to the east across the Philippines Sea.

Danger to lives and property will heighten late Monday night as the typhoon takes aim at land.

"The most likely area to experience significant impacts will be across Taiwan and then into southeastern China," AccuWeather Meteorologist Adam Douty said.

Japan's southernmost Ryukyu Islands will be lashed with gusty squalls and rough surf through Tuesday, but will be spared from the worst conditions.

Taiwan, on the other hand, should brace for Megi to make a direct hit around midday on Tuesday.

"Impacts to Taiwan are expected to worsen dramatically Tuesday morning (local time)," Douty said.

The strength of Megi will be equal to that of a Category 3 hurricane when it slams into east-central Taiwan with destructive winds, flooding rain and an inundating storm surge.

Near the point of landfall in Taiwan, wind gusts are expected to be near 200 km/h (125 mph). Rainfall will exceed 250 mm (10 inches) in many areas. Over 500 mm (20 inches) could fall in some of the mountainous terrain.

Even though Megi will pass well to the south of Taipei, the city could still see damaging wind gusts of 115-145 km/h (70-90 mph). Power cuts and minor structural damage are possible.

There is a greater risk of Megi causing wind damage and flooding across Taiwan since the island has been affected by both Super Typhoon Meranti and Typhoon Malakas in the last two weeks.

"Even though Megi will not be nearly as strong as Meranti, it could cause more damage than expected because of infrastructure already weakened by Meranti and the glancing blow from Malakas," AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Jason Nicholls said.

Already saturated and loose soil could lead to flash flooding and mudslides.

Megi will then threaten eastern China after battering Taiwan. Impacts will begin Tuesday afternoon, with the worst conditions expected Tuesday night and Wednesday.

A closeup look of Megi in the western Pacific Ocean. (NOAA satellite)

Douty is concerned for impacts across eastern Guangdong and Fujian, he said.

"While we should see weakening by [the time Megi reaches China], there could still be damaging wind near the point of landfall along with flooding rain," Douty said.

The mountainous terrain of Taiwan will cause Megi to be past its peak intensity as it tracks toward eastern China, but will likely be a tropical storm or possible a typhoon at landfall.

Megi will continue to weaken once over land in eastern China. While the risk of damaging winds will lessen as Megi weakens, flooding rain will remain a concern until Megi dissipates from Wednesday into Thursday across southeast China.

Content contributed by Senior Meteorologist Kristina Pydynowski