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2 dead, 61 injured as typhoon Khanun batters Japan’s Okinawa


At least two people have died and 61 others were injured as the powerful typhoon Khanun continued to batter Japan’s southern island prefecture of Okinawa on Thursday. Triggering severe outages in the prefecture, the sixth typhoon of the year left 24 per cent of households in Okinawa without electricity, an official said on Thursday morning. An 89-year-old woman in Uruma City died from burns she sustained when candles being used in a blackout caused a fire, reports Xinhua news agency.

Earlier on Wednesday, a 90-year-old man died in a hospital after he became trapped under the collapsed garage the previous night at his residence. As of Thursday noon, some 61 people were injured due to the typhoon, which also caused traffic light malfunctions in some areas of Okinawa, according to local media outlets. At least 314 flights and over 40,000 passengers are expected to be affected, national broadcaster NHK reported. As of 12 noon on Thursday, the typhoon was northwest of Miyakojima Island, moving west-northwest at 15 km per hour. The storm had an atmospheric pressure of 940 hectopascals at its centre, packing winds of 5 meters per second, Japan’s Meteorological Agency (JMA) said Thursday.

With a maximum instantaneous wind speed of 60 meters per second, the typhoon is projected to slowly head west-northwest on Friday while maintaining its strength over the East China Sea, said the JMA. It urged people in Okinawa to remain on high alert as typhoon Khanun nears Miyakojima Island. Meanwhile, weather officials said the total rainfall through Sunday in Hokkaido could exceed August’s usual monthly average for the northern prefecture, while Okinawa and Amami-Oshima Island in the southwestern Kagoshima prefecture are projected to experience staggering precipitation levels. The weather agency also called on people to be on the alert for swollen rivers and flooding in low-lying areas.

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