Residents told to evacuate as powerful typhoon closing in on Japan





Tokyo - By Takehiko Kambayashi, – Powerful Typhoon Haishen was barrelling towards southern Japanese islands on Sunday with authorities issuing evacuation orders to hundreds of thousands of residents.
The city of Kagoshima told its 246,000 residents to flee their homes as forecasters were warning of flooding, fierce winds, torrential rains, high waves and a storm surge.
The storm caused the cancellation of hundreds of flights in the region while train services were suspended.



 
Haishen, which will be the second typhoon in a week to hit southern Japan, is a potentially record-breaking storm, the Japan Meteorological Agency said.
Speaking at a news conference in the morning, the agency’s forecast division chief Yoshihisa Nakamoto urged local residents to be "on maximum high alert" and evacuate early.
Residents were trying to shelter and keep social distance at the same time amid fears of the coronavirus pandemic.
Military helicopters already evacuated about 200 pregnant women and elderly people to the city of Kagoshima from small remote islands.  
The eye of the storm was about 170 kilometres south of Yaku Island as of 1 pm (0300 GMT), travelling north-north-west at 30 kilometres per hour (kph), with maximum sustained winds of 162 kph and gusts of 234 kph, according to the agency.
Rainfall of up to 600 millimetres is forecast for Kyushu and up to 400 millimetres for the south-western island of Shikoku and the Tokai region by Monday noon, the agency said.
Typhoon Maysak passed near the southern islands of Kyushu and Okinawa injured dozens of people before weakening on Thursday.
A freighter carrying 43 crew members and about 5,800 head of cattle capsized off Amami Oshima Island on Wednesday after it was hit by waves churned by Typhoon Maysak.
Two crew members from the Philippines were rescued and one body was recovered while dozens of dead cow carcasses floating in the area were spotted.
The freighter left New Zealand on August 14 and was due to arrive in Tangshan, China on Friday.

 


Sunday, September 6th 2020
By Takehiko Kambayashi,
           


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