• Kyodo, Jiji

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At least eight people were injured Tuesday as a powerful typhoon passed island chains in Okinawa Prefecture, bringing gusts of up to 196 kilometers per hour and heavy rains, the national weather agency and local authorities said.

The Meteorological Agency warned of strong gusts, high waves, high tides, mudslides and flooding as Typhoon Maysak travels a predicted path across the sea west of Kyushu on Wednesday night.

West Japan Railway Co. announced Wednesday that it will suspend operations of Sanyo Shinkansen trains between Hiroshima and Hakata stations Thursday morning from the first departure of the day until around 8 a.m. because strong winds are expected to hit the area.

The typhoon will likely travel toward the Korean Peninsula without making landfall on Kyushu, according to the agency’s projection.

As of 9 a.m. Wednesday, Typhoon Maysak, which is the name of a tree in the Cambodian language, was traveling 320 km southwest of Goto, Nagasaki Prefecture. It had an atmospheric pressure of 940 hectopascals at its center and was packing winds of up to 234 km per hour. The agency forecasts a maximum rainfall of 300 millimeters in the Shikoku region in the 24 hours up to 6 a.m. Thursday.

The agency also warned that Typhoon Haishen is approaching the nation and could make landfall around Sunday or Monday, bringing torrential rain, strong winds and high waves.

Meanwhile, the weather agency said Tuesday the average sea surface temperatures of waters south of Japan in August were the highest since comparable data became available in 1982.

The agency warned of the possibility of a typhoon approaching the country without losing power as the surface temperatures are expected to remain high in September.

It surveys the sea surface temperatures in 10 sections of waters off the archipelago.

The average surface temperature of waters east of Okinawa Prefecture stood at 30.7 degrees Celsius, 2.1 degrees higher than average year.

The agency also reported that the surface temperatures of waters off the Shikoku western and Tokai central regions averaged 29.8 degrees and those of southeastern waters off the Kanto eastern region 29.3 degrees, exceeding average-year readings by 1.7 degrees and 1.6 degrees, respectively.

Sea surface temperatures rose to record levels last month probably because the Pacific high was stronger than usual and winds were too weak to stir seawater, agency officials said.

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