At least 35 injured as powerful typhoon batters southwest Japan
Tokyo, Sep 7 (efe-epa).- A strong typhoon has left a trail of destruction in southwestern Japan, with four missing and about 50 people injured, but a major tragedy was avoided thanks to the alert given by authorities and the evacuation order for up to 1.6 million people.
For several days, it had been warned that Typhoon Haishen, the tenth of the season, which was approaching Japan from the south, was going to be exceptionally strong and cover a very wide area.
It made landfall on the island of Kyushu around midnight, and from then until Monday morning, wreaked havoc in that region, which includes cities like Nagasaki, Fukuoka or Kumamoto, as it headed towards the Korean peninsula.
At first the trajectory indicated Sunday that the typhoon would hit the Korean peninsula, but in the last hours it has started to deviate and was passing off the east coast, with a lesser impact than initially expected.
According to a provisional death toll, at least 4 people are missing and fifty suffered minor injuries from broken glass or falls in Japan.
The four missing, three men and a woman, were in a building in the town of Shiiba that housed a construction company office destroyed by a landslide.
The four missing are a 60-year-old woman, her 32-year-old son, and two Vietnamese interns who worked in the construction company, according to local agency Kyodo.
Among the seriously injured is a man who fell from a roof and suffered head injuries.
The Japanese authorities ordered the evacuation of 1.6 million people and recommended that measure for 6 million more, although as time passed, the number of people affected decreased.
All of them were asked to go to temporary shelters, although according to local media some were completely full.
In addition, about half a million homes had blackouts for several hours due to damage to the electrical distribution network.
Although the typhoon was already moving away from Japan early this afternoon, the Meteorological Agency maintained the alert for torrential rains, strong winds and high tide that were caused in the southwest of the country.
The most recent report from the Meteorological Agency released at 14:45 local time (5.45 GMT) indicated that the typhoon registered winds with a speed of 126 kph and gusts of 180, moving close to the eastern coast of South Korea.
The atmospheric pressure in the typhoon’s eye at the same time was 970 hectopascals, but earlier on Monday it reached 940 hectopascals. The smaller the amount of hectopascals, the greater the impact from strong winds and the rain generated.
The meteorological bureau even described Haishen’s intensity as “extremely strong.”
The passage of the typhoon caused the cancellation of almost a thousand flights on Sunday and Monday, and the rail service in the Kyushu region was interrupted both in bullet trains and in the rest of the units.
Typhoon season in the Pacific usually begins in May and generally lasts until October. EFE-EPA