Strong typhoon hits Kyushu; two dead

Kyodo News

Powerful Typhoon Man-yi, which has left at least two people dead, two missing and 59 injured, made landfall in Kyushu on Saturday afternoon, forcing thousands to evacuate and causing power outages and transportation disruptions.

The season’s fourth typhoon was expected to continue to lash the Japanese archipelago, traveling along the southern coast of Honshu through the Kanto region over the long weekend, according to the Meteorological Agency, which warned of heavy rains, floods and strong winds.

The typhoon made landfall on the Osumi Peninsula in Kagoshima Prefecture around 2 p.m. after hitting Okinawa Prefecture and part of the Amami island group the day before, the agency said. Okinawa came out of the typhoon’s heavy storm zone after 20 hours, it said.

The agency recorded an atmospheric pressure of 945 hectopascals near the center of the storm when it struck the peninsula, making it the most powerful typhoon to hit Japan in the month of July since the agency began compiling statistics in 1951.

Landslide warnings were issued for southern Kyushu.

Keita Kamimura, an 11-year-old boy, died after trying to retrieve a ball from a river in the city of Kagoshima and was washed away. His body was found two hours later.

A 76-year-old man died after falling into an irrigation ditch in Kimotsuki, Kagoshima Prefecture.

In Yoshinogawa, Tokushima Prefecture, a 79-year-old man was reported missing, while another man in Nagoya also went missing after being swept away in a river.

Most of the injuries were caused by the typhoon’s strong winds, according to local police.

A 60-year-old man fell and broke his hip while trying to reinforce his roof in Asakura, Fukuoka Prefecture. In Kitakyushu, an 80-year-old woman fell in the morning and broke her right leg.

As of 8 p.m., nearly 20,000 people from about 8,500 households in seven prefectures had been ordered or advised to evacuate, officials said. Many people in other areas also evacuated voluntarily.

Power blackouts continued for about 34,000 households in Kagoshima, mainly in the Amami region, and in Miyazaki, according to Kyushu Electric Power Co.

JR Kyushu Railway Co. said all of its services, including bullet trains, were suspended in Kagoshima and Miyazaki.

A landslide continued to block traffic on the Higashikyushu Expressway between the Miyazaki-Nishi and Saito interchanges in Kyushu. The Miyazaki Expressway was also closed.

All Nippon Airways, Japan Airlines and other airlines said they canceled more than 643 flights Saturday, mainly those departing or arriving at airports in Kyushu, Shikoku and Okinawa, affecting more than 58,000 passengers.

The storm forced candidates in Kyushu running in the July 29 House of Councilors election to change their schedules, including canceling street speeches and switching to telephone canvassing, on the first weekend of the campaign that officially began Thursday.

The typhoon was forecast to come to within a radius of 310 km east of the Kanto region by 9 a.m. Monday.

In Miyazaki Prefecture, total rainfall topped 500 millimeters in some areas, hitting record local highs for July.

Up to 450 mm of rainfall was projected to fall in the Tokai region in central Japan over the 24 hours to Sunday evening, while 400 mm of rainfall was expected in the southern part of the Kinki region and on the Pacific side of Shikoku, according to the agency.