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Tropical Cyclone Kills 2 in Southern Japan


As wind and rain from a powerful tropical cyclone continued to lash southern Japan on Thursday, the authorities said the storm had left at least two people dead, injured at least 60 others and knocked out power to around 150,000 homes.

The storm, Typhoon Khanun, was causing damage and disruption in Japan’s Okinawa Prefecture days after an earlier tropical cyclone left dozens of people dead or injured in mainland China and the Philippines.

Khanun was moving slowly northwest on Thursday, away from Japan and toward mainland China. It was expected to turn northeast, back toward Japan, in a weakened state — but not before dumping several inches of rain in Okinawa and other southern Japanese prefectures.

The storm was nearly 200 miles west of a major United States military base in Okinawa as of Thursday morning local time, according to the United States military’s Joint Typhoon Warning Center in Hawaii.

Khanun was producing maximum sustained winds of 103 miles per hour on Thursday, making it the equivalent of a Category 2 storm on the five-category wind scale that meteorologists in the United States use to measure Atlantic hurricanes. (Tropical cyclones are called hurricanes in the Atlantic and typhoons in the northwestern Pacific.)

The two people who died in Japan on Wednesday were a 90-year-old man who had been in his garage when it collapsed and an 89-year-old woman whose home burned down, the Okinawa police told NHK, Japan’s public broadcaster.

Several areas of Japan were under weather warnings or advisories on Thursday, according to Japan’s meteorological agency. Flights and bus services had also been canceled in many parts of Okinawa for a third straight day.

As of Thursday morning, roughly a quarter of the 600,000 households in the prefecture were experiencing power outages because of the typhoon, according to Okinawa Electric Power Company.

Kadena Air Base, the United States military installation on Okinawa that was near the storm on Wednesday, said in a forecast that it was expecting typhoon conditions on Wednesday and again on Friday, although with lower maximum wind speeds than earlier in the week.

An earlier typhoon, Doksuri, made landfall in southern China last week with the force of a Category 2 hurricane, pushing a mass of moist air northward that led to heavy rain in Beijing and other northern cities.

Those rains had left at least 20 people dead and more than 30 others missing in Beijing and some cities in the northern Chinese province of Hebei as of Wednesday, the state-run news media reported. Rescue work and disaster relief was still underway; the Beijing Meteorological Service said rainfall in the city had been the heaviest in 140 years.

On its way to China, Doksuri also had battered the northern Philippines with the force of a Category 4 storm. The Philippine authorities said last week that at least 13 people were killed in flooding and landslides, and that at least 26 died after strong winds caused a ferry to capsize near the capital, Manila.


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