Typhoon hits Okinawa; one dead

Typhoon Meari pounded Okinawa on Sunday, killing one person and injuring another while paralyzing air, land and sea traffic in the prefecture.

The strong typhoon was slowly moving west-northwest around 110 km north of Miyako Island as of 6 p.m.

The storm passed over the prefecture’s main island but could still bring heavy rain, the Meteorological Agency said.

A newspaper delivery man found Ushi Miiji, 88, early Sunday bleeding from the head in front of his garage in Gushikami on Okinawa Island. He died shortly afterward. Local police said he likely fell due to strong wind.

A man in Urasoe also fell due to strong wind as he was leaving home and fractured an elbow.

The agency, which designated the typhoon as the season’s 21st, is still predicting heavy rain on Okinawa Island as well as other islands nearby.

The typhoon forced the cancellation of 244 domestic flights, mainly to Naha, affecting 45,000 passengers.

Public buses and the monorail service linking Naha airport and central Naha were suspended, while ferry services to Kagoshima were canceled.