BANGKOK – Two typhoons churning in the Pacific Ocean are intensifying, with one likely to meander for days in the vicinity of Taiwan and the northern Philippines later this week, potentially bringing disastrous amounts of rainfall.
It has been a busy typhoon season in Japan and nearby nations, and now two more are on the move.
Typhoon Goni, located east of the Philippines as of Wednesday morning and traveling west at 25 kilometers (15.5 miles) per hour, was packing maximum winds of up to 252 kilometers per hour. It was expected to approach the northern part of the Philippines before changing its course northbound on Saturday towards Taiwan and southern Okinawa, according to the latest predictions by the Japan Meteorological Agency.
Typhoon Atsani, located near Japan’s Minamitorishima island, was bringing similar-strength winds as it traveled toward the Ogasawara islands. It is expected to approach mainland Japan next week.
The meteorological agency’s forecast showed that both Goni and Atsani were expected to gain strength over the next few days. Latest images of the typhoon can be seen at the government’s Himawari 8 satellite website.
The two typhoons are the 15th and 16th of this year, which is busier than usual. Last year, there were 23 in all and No. 16 came in September, which is typically the peak period for typhoons.
Japanese astronaut Kimiya Yui posted a photo of Typhoon Atsani taken from the international space station on his Twitter account, showing the eye of the storm over the Pacific.
If Typhoon Atsani reaches such intensity, it would be the seventh Category 5 hurricane-equivalent storm to form on Earth so far this year.
If both Goni and Atsani become super typhoons, it will mark the first time 1997 that two storms of that category formed together in the Pacific, according to the Washington Post.
Japan’s new Himawari-8 satellite is already keeping an eye on the forming typhoons. A 14 second animation shows Goni moving west in the Pacific.