Typhoon Khanun disrupts Japan transportation, thousands evacuated

Tokyo, Aug 9 (EFE).- Typhoon Khanun, now a strong tropical storm, has again caused serious disruptions to air and rail transport in southwestern Japan, in addition to leading authorities to order the evacuation of tens of thousands of people.

The sixth typhoon of the season in the Pacific, which already paralyzed air transport in Okinawa prefecture and left two dead and dozens injured at the beginning of last week, was moving Wednesday toward southwestern Kagoshima and Kumamoto, having reversed its trajectory in the previous days.

At 9:00 a.m. local time (0:00 GMT) Khanun was about 110 kilometers off the coast of Kyushu, Japan’s third-largest island, moving at a speed of 10kmph, according to Japan’s meteorological agency.

This has already brought heavy rains (forecasts point to more than 200 millimeters in several areas during the next 24 hours) and wind gusts of more than 162kmph in this region, through which it will move until Thursday.

Torrential rains accumulated at the Khanun pass could reach record levels until Friday in several areas of the south-west of the country, according to the agency.

Japanese authorities declared a weather alert due to the risk of flooding, storm surge and landslides in the southwest of the archipelago, and issued evacuation orders affecting tens of thousands of people in Kagoshima, Kumamoto, Miyazaki, Nagasaki , Oita, Saga, Fukuoka, Kochi and Tokushima prefectures.

About 350 scheduled flights to or from different Kyushu airports were canceled Wednesday, according to airlines, while maritime connections from this region have also suffered widespread cancellations.

The storm has also caused the suspension or reduction of the commuter and high-speed rail connection service in different sections between the stations of Nagasaki, Hiroshima, Kokura, Hakata, Kagoshima and Kumamoto, among others.

South Korea is also on alert over the arrival of the typhoon on its southeast coast, scheduled for the early hours of Wednesday and Thursday, and which is also expected to leave torrential rains.

The arrival of Khanun led the organizers of an international congregation of Scouts held in South Korea since the beginning of the month to cancel the event, with the evacuation of nearly 40,000 young participants in the camping area in the country’s southwest.

In addition to Khanun, another weather front, Tropical Storm Lan, is currently south of Japan and moving towards Japan’s east coast, and is expected to approach the capital area this weekend. EFE


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