Monstrous 'Super Typhoon' Usagi Barreling Towards Eastern Asia

Quickly intensifying storm marked as strongest storm of the year

Super Typhoon Usagi, the strongest storm to hit the planet this year, is barreling through the western Pacific on Friday, with Taiwan, the northern Philippines and China bracing for potentially devastating effects.

Meteorologist Eric Holthaus reports that on Thursday the storm exploded in intensity from tropical storm strength to the equivalent of a category five hurricane, with its wind speeds increasing 85mph in less than 24 hours, marking "one of the fastest intensification rates ever recorded."

The storm is packing winds of up to 130mph, with the potential for torrential rains that bring landslides.

The Independentreports that the 680-mile wide "storm is set to roar between the Philippines and Taiwan before hammering the southern Chinese coast, and possibly Hong Kong, later in the weekend."

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