Disaster-hit Japan braces for powerful typhoon

2018-07-28 12:11
Japan Ground Self-Defence Force members use a boat to evacuate residents from a flooded area caused by heavy rains in Kurashiki. (Takumi Sato, Kyodo News via AP)

Japan Ground Self-Defence Force members use a boat to evacuate residents from a flooded area caused by heavy rains in Kurashiki. (Takumi Sato, Kyodo News via AP)

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WATCH: More than 200 killed in Japan flash floods

2018-07-13 15:41

An estimated 200 people have died and dozens are still missing after flash floods hit Japan, forcing more than two million residents to evacuate their homes. Watch.WATCH

A powerful typhoon hurtled towards Japan on Saturday, with western areas recently devastated by floods and landslides in the storm's cross-hairs.

Typhoon Jongdari, packing winds of up to 180km an hour, is forecast to make landfall on the country's main island on Saturday night or early on Sunday, according to Japan's Meteorological Agency.

The storm, currently some 400km southeast of Tokyo, is expected to barrel towards the western Chugoku region on Sunday, where record rainfall earlier this month unleashed flooding and landslides, killing around 220 people.

Authorities are warning of heavy rain, landslides, strong winds and high waves, and urging people to consider early evacuation.
"We want people especially in the downpour-hit regions to pay close attention to evacuation advisories," meteorological agency official Minako Sakurai told reporters.

More than 150 domestic flights have been cancelled so far because of Typhoon Jongdari, news reports said.

The flooding in the Chugoku region was Japan's worst weather-related disaster in decades, and many residents of affected areas are still living in shelters or damaged homes.

"We have not issued evacuation advisories, but we are fully ready 24 hours a day to evacuate residents," Tadahiko Mizushima, an official of Okayama prefecture in Chugoku, told AFP.

"We are paying special attention to the areas where restoration of river banks is under way as it would be the first heavy rain since the disaster."

Officials are particularly cautious after the deadly downpours because many people did not heed evacuation orders and became trapped. Some critics said the orders were issued too late.

Japan is now in typhoon season, and is regularly struck by major storm systems during the summer and autumn.


Read more on:    japan  |  weather

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