Catastrophic typhoon in Japan leaves 4 dead and 114 injured

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TOKYO – Two people have been confirmed dead and two others were found “without vital signs” after Typhoon Nanmadol hit Japan at the weekend, a government spokesman said yesterday.

The storm system made landfall Sunday evening in the southwestern city of Kagoshima and dumped heavy rains in the Kyushu region before moving along the west coast.

Yesterday morning it was downgraded to an extratropical cyclone as it crossed the northeast coast and headed out to sea.

The storm toppled trees, shattered windows and dumped a month of rain in 24 hours on parts of Miyazaki Prefecture, where both fatalities were confirmed.

Government spokesman Hirozaku Matsuno said two more people were found “without vital signs”, a term often used in Japan before a death is officially certified by a coroner.

He added that authorities were also looking for a missing person.

At least 114 people were injured, 14 of them seriously. Around 140,000 homes were still without power across the country, mostly in Kyushu, early yesterday morning.

Japan is currently in its typhoon season and faces around 20 such storms a year.

Meanwhile, Japan ordered the evacuation of more than nine million people as Typhoon Nanmadol “hit the southwestern part of Japan”, according to state media.

The Japan Meteorological Agency issued a level 5 warning, the highest on Japan’s disaster alert scale, against the typhoon, which hit Kyushu, Chugoku and Shikoku regions.

The southern provinces, including Kagoshima, Miyazaki, Oita, Kumamoto and Yamaguchi, are the most affected.

It is feared that a “very powerful typhoon could trigger the kind of disasters you only see once in a few decades”.

Flights have been halted at airports across the country since Sunday.

The Japan Railways Group also said bullet train services are expected to be affected on Sunday and Monday.

Scientists say climate change is increasing the severity of storms and making extreme weather events such as heat waves, droughts and flash floods more frequent and intense. AFP/AA

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