Typhoon Saola strengthens as it passes Taiwan on its way to China

TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) — Typhoon Saola has strengthened overnight as it continues its path across the Pacific and heads for China’s southern coast. The typhoon is moving northwest with sustained winds of 118 mph and gusts of up to 145 mph, according to Taiwan’s Central Weather Bureau. Saola is now considered a strong typhoon. The typhoon’s eye won’t hit Taiwan’s mainland, but its outer bands will hit the island’s southern cities. The weather bureau also warned of heavy rain and strong winds in Taiwan’s southern cities, especially southern Pingtung county. The typhoon is traveling directly south of Taiwan in the Bashi Channel.