Disasters & Accidents

Typhoon Khanun paralyzes air traffic, causes massive outage in southern Japan

Tokyo, Aug 2 (EFE).- A powerful typhoon approaching the main island of southwest Japan’s Okinawa prefecture on Wednesday has led to the suspension of all flights in this region and left nearly 220,000 homes without power, in addition to causing the death of at least one person.

Typhoon Khanun, the sixth typhoon of the season in the Pacific and classified as “very strong” by the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA), was moving in a northwesterly direction near the island at 9 am on Wednesday.

The Okinawa prefecture is on alert for flooding and landslides due to severe weather conditions, which include winds of up to 70 meters per second, waves of between 10 and 12 meters and rainfall of more than 50 millimeters per hour.

On Tuesday, the Japanese authorities issued an evacuation warning affecting hundreds of thousands of people in the Okinawa prefecture, which remains in force in some areas.

They also urged the evacuation of some parts of the Kagoshima region in southwestern Japan.

Local police reported the death of a man in his 90s in Ogimi village in Okinawa, who was crushed after a garage collapsed due to strong winds.

Four other people were also injured in several typhoon-related incidents.

Energy company Okinawa Electric Power said that around 220,000 homes, or nearly a third of the homes in the prefecture, have experienced power outages.

On Tuesday, the typhoon had led to the cancellation of all flights to and from the prefecture’s capital, Naha.

All flights from the Naha, Miyako, New Ishigaki and Shimojishima airports – Okinawa’s main airports -, were canceled on Wednesday, affecting some 400 domestic flights and about 65,000 passengers.

Weather forecasts say the typhoon will continue to cause heavy rainfall across Okinawa on Wednesday and Thursday.

The typhoon will slow down as it moves across the East China Sea and through the north of Taiwan and approaches China’s coast in the next few days. EFE


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