Powerful typhoon on course for Saturday landfall in Shikoku

Kyodo

Typhoon Halong is expected to make landfall on Shikoku Saturday after bringing heavy rain, high waves and strong winds to southern Kyushu, the Meteorological Agency said Friday.

The typhoon, the 11th of the year, is expected to dump more precipitation on rain-soaked Shikoku before heading for the Chugoku region, leaving total rainfall on the Pacific coast so far at over 1,000 millimeters, the agency said.

At 6 p.m., the typhoon was around 210 km east of Amami Oshima Island in Kagoshima Prefecture, and heading north with an atmospheric pressure of 950 hectopascals at its center and gusts of up to 198 kph.

Rainfall in a 24-hour period ending at 6 p.m. Saturday is expected to reach 500 mm in Shikoku, 300 mm in Kyushu and Kinki, 200 mm in Tokai and 150 mm in Chugoku. Heavy rain is expected to continue falling Sunday in the Kinki, Shikoku and Tokai regions.

Waves of 6 to 12 meters are expected in western Japan, the agency said, warning of possible storm surges.

Airlines, including Japan’s two major carriers Japan Airlines Co. and All Nippon Airways Co., have canceled more than 200 flights scheduled for Saturday.