Japan: Typhoon Trami heads to mainland after battering Okinawa

A powerful typhoon hurtled toward Japan‘s mainland on Sunday after injuring dozens on southern islands, as weather officials warned that fierce winds and torrential rain could trigger landslides and floods.

The typhoon has already led to flight cancellations and power outages in several cities.

Typhoon Trami, rated Category 2, is the latest storm to threaten Japan in a year of grim weather-related woes, including punishing heat, heavy rains and landslides. The category 5 is the highest.

Japan issued evacuation orders and warnings to about 700,000 households in southern and western Japan.

More than 300,000 households have suffered power outages in southern Okinawa and Kagoshima prefectures, said public NHK television, adding nearly 50 people had been injured in Okinawa and Kagoshima.

Local officials said no one was feared dead as a result of the storm. 

Kansai International Airport in Osaka, western Japan, which was heavily flooded by a typhoon last month, said it had closed its runways from 11am (02:00 GMT) on Sunday until 6am on Monday. The airport only fully reopened on September 21.

Airlines cancelled or plan to cancel more than 930 flights, NHK said. Most of local trains and bullet trains in western areas will suspend operations on Sunday, operator West Japan Railway said.

Trami is currently heading towards Japan‘s northeast. It will cross the islands of Kyushu and the main island of Honshu between Sunday and Monday, a path similar to that taken Typhoon Jebi early in September.

Jebi, the most powerful storm to hit Japan in 25 years, brought some of the highest tides since a 1961 typhoon.

Rainfall of up to 400mm was forecast for the Amami island region and up to 250mm for Okinawa by noon Sunday, while the storm could generate waves up to 13 metres high around the regions, forecasters said. 

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