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Taiwan Recovers from Tropical Storm, Prepares for Typhoon

A powerful typhoon is heading toward northern Taiwan, just hours after a tropical storm dumped heavy rain on the island's south.

Typhoon Saomai was more than 600 kilometers east of Taiwan's northern tip Wednesday morning moving west-northwest at 30 kilometers an hour.

Forecasters say the typhoon is gaining strength and could hit northeastern Taiwan Thursday morning, if it remains on its present course.

Tropical Storm Bopha crossed southern Taiwan early this morning before heading into the Taiwan Strait. The storm drenched the eastern county of Taitung, but there are no reports of major damage or injuries.

Bopha was about 550 kilometers east of Hong Kong at midday (0400 UTC). The storm is forecast to move west-southwest at about 14 kilometers an hour across the northern part of the South China Sea.

A third cyclone, Tropical Storm Maria, skirted the southeastern coast of Japan Wednesday, passing about 130 kilometers south of Tokyo. Some train services were suspended in Japan's Shizuoka Prefecture because of heavy rain.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP.