Following deadly flooding caused by Typhoon Sarika, the Philippines brace for another blow by Super Typhoon Haima late this week.
Haima, referred to as Lawin in the Philippines, quickly strengthened over the weekend,
reaching typhoon status on Sunday morning, local time.
Haima continued to strengthen early this week reaching super typhoon status,
with sustained winds over 260 km/h (160 mph) on Tuesday afternoon. This is the equivalent of a Category 5 hurricane in the Atlantic Ocean.
Haima is forecast to track over the northern part of Luzon in the northern Philippines. Landfall on the eastern coast of Luzon near
Kinayabutan Beach in Baggao is likely to occur on Wednesday night, local time.
This animation shows Haima tracking toward the Philippines. (NOAA/Satellite)
It could make landfall with wind gusts over 275 km/h (173 mph), causing major damage to areas in its path.
Winds of this magnitude are capable of major structural damage, including completely removing exterior walls and roofs.
These powerful winds in combination with the torrential rain will down trees,
and may cause widespread power outages that could linger well after the storm has passed.
Some places across Luzon received over 400 mm (16 inches) of rain when Sarika moved through a short time ago,
further increasing the risk for major flooding across the region.
With Haima, new rainfall amounts of 100-200 mm (4-8 inches) will be common through the middle of the week
with local amounts over 300 mm (12 inches). This additional rain will escalate the risk for mudslides, especially in the higher elevations.
Areas near and north of Haima’s center will also need to watch for coastal flooding.
In combination with gusty, onshore winds and high tides, feet of water could inundate areas near the coast.
Interaction with land will weaken Haima as it emerges into the South China Sea on Thursday.
However, it will still remain a violent tropical system as it approaches China.
Even though the center of the storm is expected to track well to the south of Taiwan,
bands of heavy rain could trigger flash flooding in the southeastern portion of the country on Thursday.
A final landfall is expected in southeast China on Friday. Impacts in Hong Kong are possible.
Residents in this area should continue to monitor Haima.
source: AccuWeather Meteorologist Eric Leister contributed content to this story.