(NYTIMES) — The strongest typhoon to hit Asia this year caused landslides in the Philippines and flooding in Taiwan on Saturday as it appeared headed toward the densely populated Pearl River Delta area of China, with the financial center of Hong Kong preparing for possible business shutdowns at the start of the workweek.
China’s National Meteorological Center issued a red alert — the highest-level warning — with Super Typhoon Usagi on a path to hit Guangdong Province, the industrial powerhouse at the heart of the Pearl River Delta. Coastal Zhejiang and Fujian provinces were also covered by the alert.
The huge storm — with a width of nearly 700 miles and carrying sustained winds of 139 miles per hour — battered the northern Philippine island of Luzon on one side while striking Taiwan on its north side, moving between the two on a path straight toward Hong Kong at the foot of the delta. It was expected to make landfall in the financial hub Sunday night, although forecasters said it could veer from that course.