Taipei, Sept. 20 (CNA) The Central Weather Bureau issued a land warning for Super Typhoon Usagi Friday morning, predicting heavy rainfall across the island. As of 11 a.m., Usagi was centered about 490 kilometers east-southeast of Taiwan's southernmost tip, moving in a west-northwesterly direction at a speed of 18 km per hour. The storm is packing maximum sustained winds of 198 kph, with gusts reaching 245 kph, the bureau said. Up to 350 millimeters of rain over the next 24 hours -- the standard for "torrential rain" -- is expected for Yilan, Hualien and Taitung counties in eastern Taiwan, Kaohsiung City and Pingtung County in southern Taiwan, and Nantou County in central Taiwan. New Taipei City, and Taoyuan and Hsinchu counties in northern Taiwan and Miaoli County and Taichung City in central Taiwan are also expected to see heavy rainfall, the bureau said. Usagi should be at its closest to Taiwan on Saturday, and the possibility that it will make direct landfall over the Hengchun Peninsula remains, according to the bureau. Residents in the southern part of the country, including the outlying Green Island and Orchid Island, have been advised by the bureau to remain alert to the possibility of strong winds overnight. The powerful typhoon, said to be the strongest storm on Earth in 2013, is expected to dump up to 1,100 millimeters of precipitation before it moves away from Taiwan on Sunday.
The Hengchun Peninsula and eastern Taiwan are likely to be the areas hardest hit, the bureau said. (By Lee Hsin-Yin)