[QODLink]
Asia-Pacific

Japan islands brace for powerful typhoon

Neoguri, one of the most powerful storms to have formed in years, on course to batter Okinawa.

Last updated: 07 Jul 2014 12:59
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Neoguri could dump up to 80mm of rain an hour in Okinawa [Reuters]

A powerful super typhoon is threatening Japan's Okinawa islands with violent winds and torrential rains, and has forced the US air force base to move some of its aircraft.

Neoguri intensified on Monday to the equivalent of a Category 4 hurricane over the Pacific Ocean and was expected to hit Okinawa early on Tuesday before reaching mainland Japan on Wednesday, the national weather agency said on Monday.

Al Jazeera meteorologist Steff Gaulter said Neoguri is likely intensify to the equivalent of a Category 5 hurricane, the most powerful category, before it reaches Okinawa.

The US Kadena Air Force base in Okinawa began evacuating some of its aircraft on Sunday in preparation. One official described the storm as "the most powerful typhoon forecast to hit the island in 15 years".

The meteorological agency forecast Neoguri - raccoon in Korean - would dump up to 80mm of rain an hour on Okinawa.

The storm was then expected to head north and slam into the Japanese mainland. The storm was expected to be downgraded by the time it hit Kyushu, but is still likely to cause major damage. 

"I'm calling on the heads of municipalities not to hesitate in issuing evacuation warnings and don't be afraid of being overcautious," Keiji Furuya, the state minister in charge of disaster management, told a government meeting.

Okinawa is regularly hit by typhoons but islanders were taking no chances with fishermen on Miyako island bringing boats back to port and tying them down with ropes.

245

Source:
Al Jazeera and agencies
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
More than one-quarter of Gaza's population has been displaced, causing a humanitarian crisis.
Ministers and MPs caught on camera sleeping through important speeches have sparked criticism that they are not working.
Muslim charities claim discrimination after major UK banks began closing their accounts.
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Featured
Friends of Steven Sotloff, allegedly the second journalist shown in Islamic State beheading video, call for his release.
Cut off from bulk of Tunisia's economic development, residents of rural towns are creating their own opportunities.
Craft breweries see rising sales, challenging large corporations for a bigger taste of Mexico's $20bn beer market.
Questions of colonialism after Malawi opts for English as medium of instruction in schools rather than local languages.
Frustration grows in Kiev as pledges to end corruption and abuse of power stagnate after Maidan Square protest.
join our mailing list