A powerful and dangerous storm is brewing 2400 kilometres off Australia’s coast, transforming into a super typhoon as it sweeps across the Pacific.

The storm, dubbed super typhoon Doksuri, is packing winds of around 240kph and is the equivalent of a category four Atlantic Hurricane.

Forecasters have warned it could wreak havoc in the northern Philippines in the coming days before hitting mainland China later this week.

The storm is moving northwest at 15kph and is expected to pass over or close to the Philippines Babuyan Islands — home to about 20,000 people — by the end of Wednesday, according to the country’s weather bureau.

Australian authorities have warned travellers heading overseas to “know how to stay safe” amid fires in Greece, extreme heat and several other natural disasters. Smart Traveller warned “severe weather events are currently impacting much of the Northern Hemisphere”.

What will the super typhoon bring?

Significant rainfall and strong winds are expected across the Babuyan Islands and northern Luzon, the Philippines’ largest and most populous island.

“Under these conditions, flooding and rain-induced landslides are highly likely,” the country’s weather bureau warned.

By midday on Wednesday, the storm is expected to dump more than 200 millimetres of rain on the northern Philippines, including the Babuyan Islands and the Ilocos Norte and Ilocos Sur provinces.

The storm may also bring hazardous rises in water levels, known as storm surges, that are predicted to exceed three metres.

Coastal communities in northwest and northeast Cagayan province were urged to evacuate their homes in anticipation of the huge waves.

Local disaster official Charles Castillejos said coastal communities on the islands had been ordered to leave their homes, while fishermen had been told to get their boats out of the water.

“We sent the police to convince the hard-headed ones who refuse to evacuate,” Castillejos said.

Communities in the typhoon’s path are bracing for impact, with Philippine president Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. suspending public school classes and closing non-essential government offices in the capital region on Monday. The suspension was also in part due to a three-day strike by transport workers.

Boats, including wooden outriggers and passenger ferries that provide transport between islands, have been ordered to shore in Luzon and central islands due to gale warnings, stranding more than 11,000 people, according to the Philippine Coast Guard.

Cagayan provincial disaster officer Ruelie Rapsing told DZBB that emergency food packs had been stored in warehouses.

“The province has been on red alert status since Saturday and all evacuation centres, emergency operation centres of each town, and incident management teams are activated,” he said.

“Cagayanons are used to this.”

Where will super typhoon Doksuri go next?

Doksuri, also known as Egay in the Philippines, is projected to continue northwest and pass close to the eastern side of Taiwan, where heavy rainfall is expected. It is expected to pass by Hong Kong before making landfall in southern China later this week.

China’s National Meteorological Centre projects Doksuri will hit coastal regions in the eastern provinces of Fujian and Guangdong on Friday morning.

Fujian province has issued a typhoon emergency warning of the third-highest level and asked fishing boats to return to port.

Beyond the Philippines, the typhoon’s exact path is still uncertain. The Hong Kong Observatory said over the weekend there were several possible routes it could take.

The observatory said the typhoon’s final trajectory will be guided by factors such as subtropical ridges that bring high atmospheric pressure, or monsoon troughs that bring low pressure.

It asked the public to monitor weather announcements, warning the typhoon will bring high heat and thunderstorms ahead of its arrival. The city experienced another storm, Typhoon Talim, a week ago, which prompted authorities to close schools and the stock market.

Strong wind warnings have been issued for the southern portion of Taiwan, specifically the coastlines of Taitung and Pingtung counties. These will be strengthened as Doksuri continues to approach the island, with the main threats being heavy rainfall, landslides, high winds and storm surge.

Storms and typhoons in the Philippines

The Philippines is hit by an average of 20 major storms each year, killing hundreds of people and contributing to extreme poverty in some areas.

Scientists have warned that such storms, which also kill livestock and destroy key infrastructure, are expected to become more powerful and more frequent as humans reckon with a changing climate.

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By Rahul

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