BEIJING, June 18 (Xinhua) -- Tropical storm Linfa formed in the South China Sea Thursday afternoon and was forecast to bring heavy rain to parts of Taiwan starting Friday, said China's Central Meteorological Station.
The storm, the third of this year in the area, was 290 kilometers south of the Dongsha Islands at 3 p.m. Thursday with winds of up to 64.8 km per hour at the center, said the station.
It was forecast to linger at its current location for about 12 hours and then move northeast to approach the sea south of Taiwan while gaining strength with maximum winds of up to 82.8 km per hour, the station said.
Strong gales were forecast to sweep the sea east of Taiwan, and rain would hit the south and east areas of Taiwan Friday and Saturday, it said.
The station and the China Maritime Search and Rescue Center have issued a maritime alert.