Asia-Pacific Region:  The first category 5-equivalent storm of the northwest pacific typhoon season, Super Typhoon Nepartak (locally known as Butchoy) has reached sustained winds of 160 mph (257 kph) with gusts of 195 mph (314 kph).

banner-yolanda-1yr-web-bannerTo give a point of reference, the Region’s strongest storm of record, Super Typhoon Haiyan (November 7, 2013) had sustained winds of 145 mph with gusts to 195 mph

Nepartak, which is now located SE of Taiwan is moving NW at approximately 20 mph and is expected to make landfall directly over Taiwan in the early morning hours of Friday (local Taiwan time.) Nepartak could then potentially make secondary landfall early Saturday morning over east-southeast China, curving back toward Shanghai as a significant tropical storm.

Local media is reporting that food prices have jumped in Taiwan in advance of the arriving storm.

Please pray for the people of Taiwan, the southern islands of Japan, and the eastern shores of China as this storm continues to build.

Live storm tracking / updates.