Super Typhoon Meranti is passing the southern tip of Taiwan
It's the strongest typhoon since Haiyan devastated the Philippines in 2013
NEW: China on red alert as Meranti expected to make landfall there Thursday
Hundreds of people have been evacuated in southern Taiwan and China has issued a red alert as the region braces for the impact of the strongest storm of the year.
Super Typhoon Meranti is barreling down on Taiwan, bringing wind speeds of up to 230 miles per hour (370 kph), faster than a Formula One race car, and torrential rains.
Two people have been injured, and more than 260,000 households have lost power in counties across southern Taiwan, according to Taiwan authorities.
More than 370 domestic and international flights have been canceled and train services have also been suspended.
As of 7 a.m. local time Wednesday morning, around 1,500 people had been evacuated from the affected areas, Li Wei-sen, of the Taiwan Central Emergency Operating Center, told CNN.
Almost 4,000 military and police personnel have been deployed to the region to prepare for potential future evacuations, but he said authorities are not expecting major damage or destruction.
China braces for impact
While the 23 million people in Taiwan are likely to be buffeted and soaked by Meranti, the main brunt of the storm will fall on mainland China. The storm is expected to make landfall in Guangdong or Fujian provinces during the day on Thursday.