• Reuters, Kyodo


A slow-moving but weakening Typhoon Noru, at one point the strongest storm in the world this year, approached Japan’s main islands on Sunday, leaving two people dead and prompting evacuation advisories to be issued for hundreds of thousands of people.

The typhoon may make landfall on Shikoku early Monday after moving north off the east coast of Kyushu, the Meteorological Agency said.

As of 8 p.m. Sunday, Noru was roughly 130 km (80 miles) south-southwest of Kochi Prefecture and moving northeast at a speed of 20 kph. It had an atmospheric pressure of 975 hectopascals at its center and packing winds of up to 162 kph (100 mph), according to the agency.

The typhoon is expected to bring rainfall of up to 700 mm to Shikoku and 600 mm to the central Tokai region in the 24 hours through 6 p.m. Monday, according to the agency.

On Saturday and early Sunday, the Amami island chain, located just south of Kyushu, was pounded by heavy rain and high winds, leaving at least one road crumbled and setting off a handful of landslides.

Evacuation advisories were issued for at least 210,000 along a broad swath of Kyushu, the Fire and Disaster Management Agency said. By 5 p.m. though, some were being lifted in Kagoshima Prefecture, according to Kagoshima government officials.

Two people had been killed by the storm as of Sunday. A man was knocked down by heavy winds and in another instance, a fisherman went missing after going out to check on his boat. Nine people were injured, the fire agency said.

Parts of southern Kyushu received as much as 34 mm of rain in the hour to 5 p.m., but the northern and central regions of the island, hit by devastating floods that killed 36 and left four missing just a month ago, were likely to be spared the brunt of the storm as it bore down on the island of Shikoku.

At one point a Category 5 typhoon, Noru — a Korean word for a type of deer — was set to weaken into a tropical storm later Sunday or early Monday before raking across Honshu, according to the website Tropical Storm Risk.com.

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