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Typhoon Maysak strengthens as it heads towards South Korea

Just a few days after Typhoon Bavi struck the Korean Peninsula, there is another powerful storm heading for the region.

Typhoon Maysak has formed to the east of the Philippines and is gaining strength as it makes its way towards South Korea.

Maysak, which is locally known in the Philippines as Julian, is currently located about 900km (575 miles) south of the Japanese prefecture of Okinawa in the East China Sea between Taiwan and Japan’s mainland.

The storm is currently packing winds of 150km/h (90 mph) with gusts as high as 185km/h (115 mph).

Further strengthening is expected and Typhoon Maysak is forecast to reach peak intensity on Monday with winds of about 220km/h (140 mph) with significantly higher gusts.

This would make it equivalent to a Category 4 Atlantic hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson scale.

The system will then cross the Ryukyu Islands with the winds only slowly easing down as it moves through the East China Sea.

Typhoon Maysak is expected to hit South Korea at approximately 3am on Wednesday (18:00GMT Tuesday).

At this stage, it is still likely to be a powerful storm with winds of about 185km/h (115 mph) with gusts possibly as high as 220km/h (140 mph).

This would make it equivalent to a Category 3 major hurricane.

Last week, Typhoon Bavi, the strongest typhoon of the year so far with sustained winds of 155km/h (96 mph), struck the western side of South Korea before going on to cause damage in North Korea on Thursday.

Maysak should be a little further east. Damaging winds and torrential downpours are likely to cause widespread disruption with further floods and damaging winds for much of the Korean Peninsula.

Al Jazeera and news agencies

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