World: Powerful Typhoon Thrashes Japan, With Millions Told to Evacuate

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High waves hitting the shore on Sunday in Miyazaki, in southern Japan. © Kyodo News, via Associated Press High waves hitting the shore on Sunday in Miyazaki, in southern Japan.

TOKYO — Typhoon Nanmadol brought torrential rain and the risk of destructive landslides to Japan’s southernmost main island on Sunday, and more than eight million people were ordered to evacuate and seek shelter from the powerful storm, which was expected to traverse virtually the entire length of the country.

Sandbags outside a closed convenience store on Sunday in Izumi, in the Kagoshima Prefecture. © Yuichi Yamazaki/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images Sandbags outside a closed convenience store on Sunday in Izumi, in the Kagoshima Prefecture.

Some areas of the southern island, Kyushu, were expected to receive 20 inches of rain or more, an amount not seen in the area in decades, officials said. While the heavy rain was viewed as the primary threat to residents’ safety, winds exceeding 110 miles per hour were also recorded, causing heavy waves.

Millions in Japan told to evacuate as Typhoon Nanmadol approaches

  Millions in Japan told to evacuate as Typhoon Nanmadol approaches Authorities urge four million people on Kyushu Island to evacuate as Typhoon Nanmadol bears down on southern Japan.The super typhoon was near the southern island of Yakushima, packing maximum surface winds of 162km/h (101mph) as it slowly headed north to Kyushu, the country’s third-largest and southernmost island, where it could make landfall later in the day, the Japan Meteorological Agency said on Sunday.

Strong winds and rain on Sunday in Miyazaki. © Kyodo News, via Associated Press Strong winds and rain on Sunday in Miyazaki.

A total of nearly 8 million people in about 3.7 million households were ordered to evacuate from areas in southern and western Japan, according to NHK, the national broadcaster.

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Thousands of people sought safety in shelters, and power was knocked out for about 190,000 households. Kyushu’s entire bullet-train service was suspended, and hundreds of domestic flights were canceled. By Sunday evening, a small number of injuries had been reported, but no deaths.

Meteorological officials warned that the storm could be more damaging than Typhoon Jebi, which killed about a dozen people in Japan in 2018, and Typhoon Hagibis, the strongest storm to hit the country’s mainland in decades, which caused widespread flooding and landslides in 2019 and killed about 100 people.

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Prime Minister Fumio Kishida was scheduled to depart Japan on Monday afternoon to attend the U.N. General Assembly in New York, but he was planning to delay his flight, according to NHK, the public broadcaster. Mr. Kishida will make a final decision on his trip after assessing the damage, NHK reported.

After passing over Okinawa, a southern Japanese archipelago, on Sunday Nanmadol weakened somewhat and became a “very strong typhoon” as it neared mainland Japan, the meteorological agency said.

It had been classified as a “violent typhoon,” the agency’s most severe category of storm based on wind speeds. The Joint Typhoon Warning Center, a U.S. military command in Hawaii, also issued a storm advisory, designating Nanmadol a “super typhoon” this past week.

The storm was projected to curve northeastward and trace almost the entire length of the main islands that make up Japan. Nearly the entire country was in the storm warning area designated by the agency.

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 Muifa typhoon hits China, more than a million evacuated © AFP V violent and heavy rains fall on Thursday on the east coast of the China , with the Muifa typhoon which caused the 'Preventive evacuation of more than a million people and the cancellation of flights in Shanghai. No dead, injured or significant damage was however announced by the authorities, in part because many prevention measures had been put in place.

The storm will probably head back to sea on Wednesday or Thursday, according to the meteorological agency. Forecasters in South Korea said that it could also affect southern parts of the country that were battered by Typhoon Hinnamnor two weeks ago.

The term typhoon, like hurricane and cyclone, refers to tropical cyclones. Typhoons develop in the northwestern Pacific and usually affect Asia. Hurricanes form in the North Atlantic, the northeastern Pacific, the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico.

Hikari Hida reported from Tokyo, and John Yoon from Seoul. Austin Ramzy contributed reporting from Hong Kong.

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