Thursday, Oct 02, 2014

Typhoon Neoguri nears central Japan after slamming Okinawa

Neoguri, which means 'raccoon dog' in Korean, was moving northward at 15 kilometers an hour (9 mph). (Source: AP) Neoguri, which means 'raccoon dog' in Korean, was moving northward at 15 kilometers an hour (9 mph). (Source: AP)
Associated Press | Tokyo | Posted: July 9, 2014 8:21 pm

A strong typhoon swerved toward Japan’s heavily populated central islands on Wednesday after it slammed through Okinawa, dumping heavy rain, knocking out power and injuring at least 30 people.

Typhoon Neoguri left toppled trees, flooded cars and bent railings on the southern island, which experienced its heaviest rainfall in a half century, according to the Okinawan government.

One of the biggest storms to hit during Japan’s summer, Neoguri was forecast to hit Kyushu island on Thursday. Then it could travel across the main island of Honshu, which includes the major cities of Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka.

Kyushu’s Fukuoka Prefecture issued warnings for strong winds, high tides and heavy rains, and advised people to stay indoors as much as possible.

The torrents of rainfall expected could trigger landslides and floods, and much of eastern Japan was at risk of experiencing lightning and tornadoes.

On Okinawa, nearly 38,000 homes were still without power. At its peak, Tuesday, more than 105,000 homes were without power.

The Okinawan government raised the injury toll to 30 Wednesday, from 17 the day before, two of them seriously. A man was reported missing from a fishing boat in rough seas off Kyushu to the north.

Neoguri, which means “raccoon dog” in Korean, was moving northward at 15 kilometers an hour (9 mph) packing sustained winds of 108 kilometers an hour (67 mph) by evening, the Japan Meteorological Agency said.

The main airport on Okinawa, Naha, reopened Wednesday, although some morning flights were canceled. Spokesman Takumi Higa said no damage has been reported.

Airports in Kyushu were still open, but late flights were canceled, and additional cancellations may be in the works.

Japan Airlines, the nation’s flagship carrier, cancelled 11 flights for Wednesday mostly flights leaving Tokyo for Kyushu, said spokesman Kentaro Nakamura.

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