Typhoon Megi’s death toll climbed to nine in western Japan as two more bodies were found in Kagawa Prefecture on Thursday morning.
The Meteorological Agency forecast the season’s 15th typhoon will hit the northern part of the country — either the Sea of Japan coast of the Tohoku region or southwestern Hokkaido — early Friday, bringing more heavy rain, strong winds, rough seas and mudslides.
The discovery of the bodies of Toshie Saeki, 72, and her daughter-in-law, Kayoko, 45, in Onohara, Kagawa Prefecture, brings the number of deaths to nine in Kagawa and Ehime prefectures. The two had been missing since Tuesday evening, when they were believed to have been swept away in a flooded river.
More than 600 people have evacuated from their homes in Onohara, Kagawa Prefecture, and Shikoku-Chuo, Ehime Prefecture, due to landslide fears.
Authorities rescued about 130 elementary school children and about 20 adults accompanying them, who had been stranded since Tuesday at a lodge in the village of Okawa, Kochi Prefecture.
They were unable to leave the nature education center when mudslides blocked the roads. Power and phone lines then went down Wednesday.
One of the children showed suspected symptoms of appendicitis, so a disaster relief helicopter airlifted the girl to a nearby hospital around 1 p.m. Thursday. Doctors who treated the girl later at a hospital in Kochi said she did not suffer the ailment.
As weather improved later in the afternoon, authorities managed to rescue all the other schoolchildren from the facility by 5 p.m. Thursday. The children were later reunited with their parents in the neighboring town of Tosa for the first time in three days. Afterward, authorities were able to bring the adults out.
Megi also has ravaged the Tsushima Islands between the Korean Peninsula and Kyushu, and has brushed the southern tip of South Korea.
The powerful typhoon was moving northeast at 55 kph over the Sea of Japan Thursday afternoon. As of 3 p.m., it was located 180 km north-northwest of Saigo, Shimane Prefecture. It had an atmospheric pressure of 970 hectopascals and packed winds of 126 kph near its center.
Heavy rain centering on the Pacific coastal areas of Kyushu and Shikoku was expected to spread to the Kinki and Tokai regions with up to 60 mm falling in one hour.
In the 24-hour period until noon Friday, the Pacific coastal region of Shikoku and the central and southern Kinki region were expected to get up to 200 mm of rain, the Tokai and Koshin regions up to 150 mm, and Tohoku and Hokkaido up to 200 mm.
Meanwhile, other parts of the country, including the Hokuriku and Kanto-Koshinentsu regions, saw the mercury rise from an apparent foehn phenomenon — caused by differences in air pressure that causes a warm dry wind to blow down from the mountains. The mercury hit 34.9 in Tokyo.
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