Typhoon Haishen hits southern Japan with high winds, power outages

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Typhoon Haishen hit southern Japan with powerful winds and torrential rains on Sunday, cutting power to tens of thousands of homes and prompting authorities to call for the evacuation of some 1.8 million people.Haishen was closing in on southern Japan’s main island, Kyushu, on Sunday evening.

“This typhoon is heading towards Kyushu and could potentially make landfall, bringing record rains, winds, waves and high tides,” Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said in a meeting with cabinet ministers earlier.

“I ask that people exercise the utmost caution. ”

The typhoon was forecast to bring high-level winds of up to 216 km / h by Monday, the Japanese meteorological agency said.

Women walk in the pouring rain as Typhoon Haishen hits Kagoshima, Japan on Sunday. (Charly Triballeau / AFP via Getty Images)

Authorities have urged evacuations of people from areas in seven prefectures in southern Japan, state broadcaster NHK said. The effort was complicated by the physical distance which meant that the evacuation centers could accommodate fewer people than normal.

In a Twitter post, trees on Yakushima, an island 100 kilometers south of the city of Kagoshima, could be seen shaking violently in high winds and heavy rain.

Elderly citizens wearing face masks due to the coronavirus outbreak were gathering at evacuation centers in Kagoshima and other parts of southern Japan, NHK footage showed.

The typhoon cut power to some 180,000 homes, NHK said, adding that public transport services had all been shut down in the affected prefectures.

Japan’s Fire and Disaster Management Agency said two injuries had been reported.

Heading to the Korean Peninsula

The typhoon was expected to approach the Goto Islands west of Nagasaki at around 3 a.m. (2 p.m. ET Sunday) Monday, then move toward the Korean Peninsula, according to the weather agency.

An evacuation center in Miyazaki has reached capacity and has stopped accepting evacuees as a precaution against the coronavirus, according to NHK.

Airlines have canceled more than 500 flights from Okinawa and southern Japan, NHK said. High-speed train service in southern and western Japan has been suspended, he said.

The Japanese Coast Guard on Saturday suspended its search for missing crew from a vessel that capsized in the East China Sea last week with a cargo of cattle on Saturday.

Typhoon Haishen follows Typhoon Maysak, which crashed on the Korean peninsula on Thursday, leaving at least two dead and thousands temporarily without power.

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