A powerful typhoon hits southern Japan; thousands evacuated

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TOKYO– A powerful typhoon approaching southern Japan battered the region with strong winds and heavy rain on Sunday, causing power outages, paralyzing land and air transport and prompting the evacuation of thousands of people.

The Japan Meteorological Agency said Typhoon Nanmadol was near the southern island of Yakushima, with peak 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 expected to turn east and reach Tokyo on Tuesday.

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

Local authorities have so far reported no major damage or injuries.

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

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

Footage shown on NHK television showed a pachinko pinball parlor with part of its glass wall shattered by the gust in Kanoya town in Kagoshima. Elsewhere in the prefecture, an elderly woman suffered minor injuries after a fall, NHK said.

Hundreds of domestic flights were canceled and more are expected to be grounded in western Japan until Tuesday as the typhoon swept northeast, according to Japan Airlines and All Nippon Airways.

Public transportation, including trains and buses in Kagoshima and Miyazaki, was suspended throughout Sunday. Rail operators said high-speed trains on the island of Kyushu had also been suspended.

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ABC

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