Powerful Typhoon Aere, which hit Okinawa’s Miyako and Ishigaki islands Tuesday morning, has left two young sisters dead in its wake, according to local rescue officials.
Islands in the area were hit by winds of more than 90 kph, with the Meteorological Agency warning that strong winds, rough seas and heavy rain could be prolonged because the typhoon, which was headed toward Taiwan, is moving slowly.
The agency also warned of landslides and swollen rivers Tuesday in extensive parts of eastern and western Japan as it expects the typhoon to cause heavy downpours in those areas.
The typhoon, the season’s 17th, is named after the Marshall Islands’ word for “storm.”
The storm caused high waves that swept two girls away as they were swimming on a beach on Amami-Oshima Island, Kagoshima Prefecture, northeast of the two Okinawan islands, on Monday afternoon. The pair, 12-year-old Miharu Izumi and her sister Mami, 7, were later found but pronounced dead.
The sisters were carried away by waves while they were swimming in the town of Kasari on Amami-Oshima with their mother, the local Japan Coast Guard office said. Although the weather had been fine at the time, a high wave alert had been issued for the area due to the approaching typhoon.
On Tuesday, officials on Miyako Island said four people were injured in typhoon-related accidents, including a 45-year-old man who fractured his hip when he fell from the eaves of his house.
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