Super Typhoon Megi

One of the biggest storms in recent history pounded the Philippines today and is on route to southern China.  This report from NTD Television is particularly frightening:

The death toll is already at 14 people, though these things tend to go up, not down.  Meanwhile, the office of Senator John Kerry (who chairs the Foreign Relations Committee) promised American support in a statement emailed moments ago.

“I am saddened to hear of the loss of life and damage wrought by Typhoon Megi in the Philippines.  As the storm — one of the most powerful in decades — moves across the South China Sea, our thoughts and prayers are also with the people of southern China who are bracing for Megi’s impact.  The United States is readying humanitarian assistance at the Philippines government’s request, and U.S. troops and equipment currently in the Philippines are being diverted to assist with the recovery.  Our ability to respond rapidly reaffirms the value of the close cooperation our two militaries share.  The Filipino people are responding to this setback with their characteristic resilience, aided by the effective measures their government took to help prepare them for the storm.”

According to China’s state run news agency, Xinhua, the country is on “high alert:”

Southern China is bracing itself for typhoon Megi, as possibly the strongest typhoon to hit China this year inches toward south China’s Guangdong Province.

Megi, meaning “catfish” in Korean, reintensified into a super typhoon at 8 a.m. Tuesday after entering the South China Sea late last night.

It is located 850 kilometers east of Zhuhai City, Guangdong Province, according to the latest report from the Guangdong Provincial Meteorological Administration.

Packing winds of 52 meters per second near its center, the typhoon is heading west northwest at a speed of 15 kilometers per hour.

Although it is too early to accurately tell where and when Megi will make landfall, authorities warned that central and western parts of Guangdong Province are most vulnerable.