Southwest Japan under alert over typhoon Khanun return

Tokyo, Aug 7 (EFE).- South-western Japan remained under meteorological alert due to the change in trajectory of Typhoon Khanun, which will once again approach that area of the Japanese archipelago where it already wreaked havoc last week.

Most of the southwestern islands of Okinawa Prefecture remain under alert this Monday for the risk of flooding, landslides and other potential accidents caused by heavy rainfall and winds of more than 144kmph.

At 5:00 p.m. local time Monday (8:00 a.m. GMT), the sixth Pacific typhoon of the season was moving slowly northward about 160 kilometers from the city of Amami in Kagoshima Prefecture, where it is expected to make landfall between the next nine and 10 days, the Japan Meteorological Agency said.

On the southwestern islands of Kyushu and Shikoku, the typhoon could drop rainfall of more than 700 millimeters in 48 hours, double or triple the average for the entire month, an official from the agency said at a Monday press conference.

The approach of the typhoon to this area of the Japanese archipelago comes after its course change at the end of last week, after the weather front moved in the direction of Taiwan and the southeastern Chinese coast.

This striking 180-degree turn in the direction of the typhoon and its current slow-speed evolution is due to the effect of high temperatures in the area’s marine waters, between 29C and 30C, according to the same source.

Close to 100 domestic flights were canceled Monday in Okinawa due to the front, after local air traffic was paralyzed in the first half of last week by the same meteorological phenomenon, which also left two deaths and dozens of injuries.

The new attack of the Khanun in the southwest of the country will take place in the same week that Obon is celebrated in Japan, a festival in honor of deceased ancestors and during which many Japanese travel to their places of origin to reunite with their families.

In this context, the railway company JR West has warned about a possible interruption of high-speed rail connections between the cities of Osaka and Fukuoka between days nine and 10 due to the typhoon. EFE


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