Disasters & Accidents

Typhoon Khanun moves away from Taiwan, re-approaches southern Japan

Tokyo/Beijing, Aug 4 (EFE).- A powerful typhoon, which has been affecting the southwest of Japan for several days and has triggered alerts in Taiwan and China, is once again approaching the Okinawa archipelago, where it has already left at least two people dead and 64 injured, in addition to causing power outages and air traffic disruptions.

Khanun, the sixth typhoon of the season in the Pacific, was located at 10 am about 270 kilometers (168 miles) to the northwest of Miyako Island, in the Okinawa archipelago, which has experienced its onslaught in recent days.

The storm is moving very slowly in a west-northwest direction, carrying gusts of winds of up to 180 kilometers per hour (112 miles per hour), according to the Japanese meteorological authorities.

The typhoon has already left two people dead, including a man in his 90s in Ogimi village who was crushed after a garage collapsed due to strong winds, and an 89-year-old woman in the city of Uruma who died from burns she sustained after the candles she used during a power outage caused a fire.

The typhoon has also left some 64 people injured, including a person who broke his arm trying to remove a tree knocked over by the wind and another man who sustained injuries when the glass at his house shattered, public broadcaster NHK reported.

Energy company Okinawa Electric Power said that around 52,290 homes in the Okinawa prefecture, or 8 percent of the total homes in the area, faced power outages early Friday.

Nearly 200 flights have also been affected and this archipelago has begun to experience some food shortages, especially fresh products such as meat and vegetables, in supermarkets, where long lines can be seen as people stock up.

The Japanese authorities have urged caution during the typhoon’s passage due to the risk of storms, strong winds, waves and landslides.

Meanwhile, Taiwan’s meteorological authorities said that Typhoon Khanun would move away from Taiwan on Friday morning, after causing the cancellation of more than 120 flights and other transport disruptions, state agency CNA reported.

By 6 pm on Thursday, a total of 126 domestic and international flights had been canceled due to the impact of the typhoon, including many en route to or from places in China and Japan.

The island’s maritime authorities announced the suspension of several ferry services between Taiwan and some of the surrounding islands.

Despite the forecast that Khanun would leave the island on Friday morning, its effects will still be felt at Taiwanese airports.

Several airlines have already announced the cancellation or delay of several flights scheduled for Friday.

Heavy rains and falling rocks on some railway tracks have also led to the cancellation of some trains in the north of the island, according to the Taiwan Railways Administration.

Apart from transport disruptions, the damage caused by Khanun remains “relatively limited” and consists mainly of fallen trees and billboards and localized flooding of roads and tunnels, CNA said, citing the Emergency Operation Center. EFE


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