Super Typhoon Soudelor heading toward Taiwan, China

WATCH ABOVE: Raw Video – Taiwan prepares for Typhoon Soudelor

TORONTO – Typhoon Soudelor reached super typhoon status on Monday reaching sustained winds of 259 km/h as it continued toward Taiwan.

The typhoon reached what would be the equivalent of a Category 5 on the Saffir-Simpson Scale which is used to measure the intensity of hurricanes in North America.

The Saffir-Simpson scale.

The storm strengthened over warm waters, forming a tight 12-nautical-mile-wide eye.

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The typhoon-force winds extended about 40 miles from the storm’s centre, while the tropical storm winds extended 185 miles. As Soudelor moved west-northwest at 24 km/h, it was generating waves of up to 14.6 metres.

On Monday the storm — which hadn’t yet reached super typhoon status — slammed into Saipan, Northern Mariana Islands, with waves of about 9 metres. According to the Pacific Daily News, the acting governor declared a “state of disaster and significant emergency.”

Soudelor is expected to continue as a super typhoon, but weaken within the next couple of days as it nears Taiwan.

It’s expected to make landfall in Taiwan early Thursday before heading on to China.

–with files from The Associated Press

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