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Friday, September 30, 2022

Powerful typhoon hits southern Japan; thousands evacuated

20220925 184203
20220925 184203


TOKYO (AP) — A powerful typhoon approaching southern Japan slammed into the region with strong winds and heavy rain on Sunday, causing power outages, paralyzing ground and air travel and prompting the evacuation of thousands of people.

The Japan Meteorological Agency said Typhoon Nanmadol was near the southern island of Yakushima, packing top winds of 162 kilometers (101 miles) per hour. It slowly headed north to the country’s main southern island, Kyushu, where it could make landfall later on Sunday.

Nanmadol is forecast to turn east and reach Tokyo on Tuesday.

The agency forecast up to 50 centimeters (20 inches) of rain by midday Monday, warning of flooding and mudslides. It also warned residents in the affected area of ​​”unprecedented” levels of strong winds and waves, urging them to evacuate early.

Local authorities have not reported major damage or injuries so far.

In hard-hit Kagoshima prefecture, more than 9,000 residents took shelter in evacuation centers on Sunday. In neighboring Miyazaki prefecture, another 4,700 people were evacuated.

Kyushu Electric Power Co. said more than 93,000 homes in Kyushu were without power on Sunday due to damage to power lines and installations.

NHK television footage showed a pachinko pinball parlor with part of its glass wall shattered by the blast in the Kagoshima city of Kanoya. In another part of the prefecture, an elderly woman suffered a minor injury after falling, NHK said.

Hundreds of domestic flights have been canceled and more are planned to be grounded in western Japan through Tuesday as the typhoon headed northeast, according to Japan Airlines and All Nippon Airways.

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Public transportation, including trains and buses in Kagoshima and Miyazaki, was suspended throughout Sunday. Rail operators said bullet trains on the island of Kyushu were also suspended.

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