Typhoon Saola to bring heavy rain and strong winds to southern Taiwan on its way to China's coast

TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) — Taiwan’s weather authorities warned residents of heavy rain and strong winds starting Wednesday as Typhoon Saola skirts by the island’s southern coast on its way to China's southern coast.

The typhoon is moving northwest with sustained winds of 162 kph (101 mph) and gusts of up to 198 kph (123 mph), according to Taiwan’s Central Weather Bureau. The typhoon’s eye won’t hit Taiwan’s mainland, but is expected to graze the island's southern cities with its outer bands.

The weather bureau also warned late Monday night that high waves and swells are expected to make any boat journeys dangerous.

Heavy rain is expected in Taiwan’s eastern and southern areas Wednesday going into Thursday. Taiwan’s weather bureau has so far categorized the storm as a mid-strength typhoon, and said there’s a slight chance the storm could strengthen.

The typhoon is then expected to hit southern Fujian and Guangdong provinces in China’s south.

Saola caused flooding in the northern part of the Philippines in the past few days. Hundreds of people have been displaced, but no casualties have been reported.

A major typhoon has not made landfall in Taiwan in the past few years. In July, the island was mostly able to avoid major damage caused by Typhoon Doksuri, which brought widespread flooding, upturned boats, and caused several dozens deaths in both the Philippines and China.