Tropical Storm Vongfong batters Japan

The typhoon is downgraded as it rolls into Kyushu after lashing across the southern island of Okinawa.

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    Tropical Storm Vongfong batters the port of Kawaminami town in Miyazaki on the island of Kyushu [AFP]
    Tropical Storm Vongfong batters the port of Kawaminami town in Miyazaki on the island of Kyushu [AFP]

    Typhoon Vongfong has been downgraded to a tropical storm as it moves into Japan’s main islands. Considerable disruption is still expected as the system continues to throw down copious amounts of rain over much of the country.

    The system is now clearing Kyushu on its way to Honshu. Life threatening flash floods and mudslides remain the main threat, but the winds could still be powerful enough to cause some structural damage.

    Vongfong currently packs winds of 80kph with gusts still approaching 100kph. It is moving more quickly at around 43kph, but the eye of the storm is not expected to reach the open waters of the northwest Pacific until the early hours of Tuesday morning.

    Many areas could see a further 100 to 200mm of rain over the next 24 hours as the system moves northeast along the spine of Honshu.

    Miyazaki had 91mm on Sunday, while Fukouka recorded 99mm. Meanwhile Tokushima had 176mm during the same period.

    Even South Korea was hit by the outer bands of this massive storm system. Here, Seongsan smeasured 154mm of rain in just 24 hours.

    At least 45 people have been injured so far. Nearly half a million people have been evacuated from their homes as a result of this storm. Traffic has been paralysed with thousands affected on the roads, on the railways and in the air.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


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