Tropical Storm Chaba may not head for Taiwan: weather bureau

Tropical Storm Chaba is likely to turn north after approaching Japan's Okinawa, lowering the chances of it hitting Taiwan in the coming days, the Central Weather Bureau (CWB) said Thursday.

The bureau predicted that Chaba, which formed in the Pacific a day earlier, will begin to move in a west-northwesterly direction toward Okinawa Friday.

It is likely to turn further north toward Japan proper once it reaches waters east of Okinawa, meaning that the storm circle might not touch land in Taiwan, according to the bureau.

That would spare Taiwan the fate of being hit by a typhoon for the third time in three weeks following the destruction caused by Typhoons Meranti and Megi on Sept. 14 and 27.

As of 8 a.m. Thursday, Chaba, the 18th storm of the 2016 Pacific typhoon season, was centered some 2,500 kilometers east-southeast of Taiwan's southernmost tip, moving at a speed of 17 kilometers per hour in a west-northwesterly direction, CWB data showed.

The storm was carrying maximum sustained winds of 64 kph, with gusts of up to 90 kph, according to the data.

Even though the chances of Chaba hitting Taiwan have reduced, the bureau said it will continue to monitor the storm's future path.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel