Click here to sign up for our FOX43 Blood Drive on January 17

Typhoon Trami: Taiwan on guard as storm builds to super typhoon strength

NOAA-released image shows Typhoon Trami gaining strength in the West Pacific. It is expected to reach Super Typhoon size before hitting Taiwan.

Taiwan is preparing for the impact of Typhoon Trami, which could be among the strongest storms of the year by the time it hits the island later this week.

As of Monday morning, the storm was still building in strength in the western Pacific near the Philippines and due to reach super typhoon size before the end of the day.

It’s expected to hit Taiwan Friday or Saturday at a strength equivalent to a Category 4 or 5 hurricane with winds of up to 270 kilometers per hour (168 mph).

“Trami is currently strengthening and looks to be a super typhoon within the next 12 hours,” CNN meteorologist Michael Guy said. “The storm is forecast to continue to move towards the west-northwest and take a turn towards the north — the timing of the turn is still uncertain since that is a few days out.”

Current forecasts suggest the typhoon will affect northern and central Taiwan, as well as Japan’s Ryukyu Islands.

Trami’s arrival in the western Pacific comes around a week after Super Typhoon Mangkhut wreaked devastation across the northern Philippines and slammed into Hong Kong and southern China.

More than 100 people were killed by the storm in the Philippines, while trees were downed and windows smashed across Hong Kong, as the city struggled to cope with its strongest storm on record, despite huge amounts of money being spent to make it largely typhoon proof.