Sunday, December 21st4.3°C
24563
24277

Typhoon pounds Japan

A powerful typhoon pummeled the southern Japanese islands of Okinawa on Tuesday, paralyzing transport and prompting U.S. forces based there to cancel all outdoor activity.

The Okinawan government said 10 people were injured, one seriously. Separately, a man was reported missing from a fishing boat in rough seas off Kyushu island, to the north.

One of the strongest and biggest typhoons to hit during Japan's summer months, Typhoon Neoguri was packing sustained winds of 194 kilometres (120 miles) per hour and gusts up to 240 kph (148 mph), the Japan Meteorological Agency said.

"Please refrain from nonessential activities and from approaching hazardous areas," said Meteorological Agency official Satoshi Ebihara. "Please show extreme caution."

Local airports were closed and about 593,000 people were advised to evacuate their homes, though most remained put, taking refuge from the destructive winds, waves up to 14 metres (46 feet) high and storm surges that were set to intensify as the storm passed the main island of Okinawa in the evening.

More than half of the 50,000 U.S. troops in Japan are based in Okinawa, the location of several bases, including Kadena, the biggest U.S. air base in Asia. An advisory on its website said the storm was at a level for which all outdoor activity was prohibited.

Television footage showed a building shattered, damaged storefronts and trees toppled as winds picked up in the Okinawan capital of Naha.

Since typhoons track along Japan's coasts, often veering onshore every summer, the country is relatively well prepared. Much greater damage is likely from torrential rains if the typhoon hits land as expected on Thursday or Friday and moves across the Japanese archipelago.

The storm was moving slowly and diminishing in intensity, but its wide area and slow movement could add to the potential damage, weather forecasters said.

Authorities in China and Taiwan also warned ships to stay clear of the storm.

The Canadian Press

COMMENTS WELCOME

Comments on this story are pre-moderated and approval times may vary. Before they appear, comments are reviewed by moderators to ensure they meet our submission guidelines. Keep it clean, keep it civil, keep it truthful, stay on topic and be responsible. Comments are open and welcome for three days after the story is published. We reserve the right to close comments before then. Comments that appear on the site are not the opinion of Castanet, but only of the comment writer.



Read more World News

24411


Recent Trending



24130



24358


23987



World Quick Links World Discussion Forum
United Nations
World Health Organization
UNESCO
World Trade Organization
NATO
European Union
The Commonwealth
Francophonie
Olympics
Google Earth


Member of BC Press Council


23838