Weakening typhoon slams southern Japan

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A weakening typhoon ripped into southern Japan on Sunday, dumping torrential rain, grounding hundreds of domestic flights and halting train services.

Typhoon Talim made a landfall in Kyushu, the southernmost of Japan’s four main islands, packing winds of up to 162 kilometers per hour, the Japan Meteorological Agency said.

At least 644 domestic flights have been cancelled because of strong winds, according to public broadcaster NHK, while all major regional train services have been suspended, operator JR Kyushu Railway said.

Authorities have issued warnings of rainstorms, high seas, possible landslides and flooding across the southern half of the Japanese archipelago.

The meteorological agency said the typhoon was expected to become a tropical storm and head northwards, dumping heavy rain across a large area, including on Tokyo.

The typhoon had earlier battered the southern Okinawan island chain, dumping the most rain seen over a 24-hour period in 50 years on the city of Miyako, before it hit Kyushu.

The Kyushu region was hit by downpours from the early hours of Sunday, with up to 120 millimeters in an hour measured in Saiki, Oita Prefecture. Kochi Prefecture in the Shikoku region saw hourly rainfall of over 80 mm, Kyodo reported. Evacuation orders were issued for residents in parts of Oita, including the cities of Saiki and Usuki, covering nearly 60,000 people, according to the prefectural government.

Big storms regularly strike Japan, with 22 people killed when Typhoon Lionrock pounded the country last September.

Last month, Typhoon Noru killed two and injured 51.

© 2017 AFP

Source  :  Japan Today

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