Sea warning expected before midnight Thursday for super typhoon

Taipei, Sept. 19 (CNA) The Central Weather Bureau said it could issue a sea warning for Super Typhoon Usagi at 11:30 p.m. Thursday, while the storm could hit Taiwan hardest starting on Friday evening. The bureau predicts that it will likely issue a land warning on Friday morning. Usagi was upgraded to a super typhoon at 8:00 p.m. Thursday, when it was centered about 820 kilometers east-southeast of Taiwan's southernmost tip, Eluanbi, moving in a west-northwesterly direction at a speed of 18 km per hour. The strengthening storm is packing maximum sustained winds of 191 kph, with gusts reaching 234 kph, the bureau said. Forecasters urged boats operating in waters around Taiwan to be on the alert due to increasing winds. Northern and eastern Taiwan could begin to see rain from Friday afternoon, with torrential downpours expected later in the day in the south. The 19th storm of the 2013 Pacific typhoon season, Usagi is the strongest Taiwan has seen this year. Usagi is the Japanese name of the constellation Lepus, or Sky Rabbit.
(By Lin Shen-hsu and Lee Hsin-Yin)