A powerful typhoon slammed ashore in southern Japan on Sunday as it pounded the region with strong winds and heavy rain, causing blackouts, paralysing ground and air transportation, and prompting the evacuation of thousands of people.
The Japan Meteorological Agency said Typhoon Nanmadol was heading north after making landfall in Kagoshima city on Japan’s southern main island of Kyushu. It was packing maximum winds of 162 kilometers (101 miles) per hour and is forecast to reach Tokyo on Tuesday.
The weather agency predicted as much as 50 centimeters (20 inches) of rainfall by Monday evening and warned of flooding and landslides. It also alerted residents in the affected areas of “unprecedented” levels of powerful winds and waves, urging them to evacuate early. Storm and high wave warnings were in effect in Kagoshima, where residents were told to stay inside stable buildings on the second floor or higher if it was deemed a safer option than going to evacuation centres.
More than 12,000 people took shelter at evacuation centres. In neighbouring Miyazaki prefecture, about 8,000 people left their homes. Local officials said several people had been injured. In Kushima city in Miyazaki, a woman was slightly hurt by shards of glass when winds broke windows at a gymnasium. NHK national television said 15 people had been injured, citing its own tally.