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Super Typhoon Usagi Heads for Philippines, Taiwan, S. China

This NASA Terra satellite image obtained September 19, 2013 shows Typhoon Usagi nearing the Philippines and southern Taiwan.
The Philippines, Taiwan and southern China are preparing for the arrival of rapidly intensifying super typhoon Usagi.

Typhoon Usagi is the Pacific's strongest storm on record this year, with wind gusts measured of up to 240 kilometers per hour.

Path of Typhoon Usagi
Path of Typhoon Usagi
It is expected to strengthen further as it moves toward the northern Philippines and then Taiwan before weakening and hitting China's southern coast.

The Philippines evacuated some northern coastal villages and called in fishing boats ahead of the storm's expected arrival late Friday.

Forecasters expect the center of the storm to pass just south of Taiwan, but say its northeastern tip could hit the island Saturday.

In southern China, Xinhua news agency said authorities issued a disaster relief alert ahead of its expected arrival late Sunday.