National

High wave and landslide warnings issued for western Japan as powerful Typhoon Tapah heads toward Sea of Japan

Kyodo, Bloomberg, Reuters

A powerful typhoon continued to travel northeast across the East China Sea on Sunday, with the Meteorological Agency warning of strong winds, high waves and landslides triggered by heavy rains through Monday in western parts of the country.

Typhoon Tapah was expected to pass near the Tsushima Strait overnight Sunday and then move on through the Sea of Japan before approaching Hokkaido and other northern prefectures through Tuesday, according to the agency.

The season’s 17th named storm has affected public transportation during the three-day weekend. Airlines canceledmore than 400 domestic flights Sunday due to the typhoon, and Kyushu Railway Co. suspended some train services.

The typhoon battered islands in Okinawa Prefecture on Saturday with heavy rain and strong winds. At least 19 people were injured.

Two people were injured in Nobeoka, Miyazaki Prefecture, on Sunday, one by broken glass and the other by a car which overturned due to strong winds, police and other sources said. Some 6,000 households in the city were without electricity, and traffic lights also went out at one point.

Nobeoka Station also experienced blackouts after a utility pole toppled when it was hit by a cargo container that was blown over by the wind, according to JR Kyushu.

The weather agency warned of very strong winds in the northern Kyushu and Chugoku regions early Monday and in Hokkaido on Monday night. Strong winds are expected across wide areas of the country on Monday.

As of 9 p.m. Sunday, the typhoon was traveling northeast in the East China Sea some 70 km (over 40 miles) off the island of Tsushima, in Nagasaki Prefecture, at a speed of 30 kph, the agency said. It had an atmospheric pressure of 980 hectopascals at its center and was packing winds of up to 162 kph.

In the 24-hour period through 6 p.m. Monday up to 300 mm of rain is expected to fall in Shikoku, up to 200 mm in Tokai, and up to 180 mm in northern Kyushu, the agency said.

Rugby World Cup organizers issued a statement Saturday to say it was monitoring the approaching storm but no match disruptions were expected.

“While no match disruption is anticipated at this stage, we have advised teams of potential disruptions to training and team movements as a precautionary measure,” the organizing committee said.

Italy play Canada in Fukuoka Prefecture on Thursday and there are also matches in Oita and Kumamoto prefectures, but not until October.

Several typhoons a year make landfall on Japan’s four main islands, and the Rugby World Cup is being held during the peak typhoon season.

On Sept. 9, a storm roared ashore just east of Tokyo and knocked out power to hundreds of thousands of people.