A powerful typhoon hits southern Japan and thousands are evacuated: NPR

This Saturday, September 17, 2022, a satellite image released by NASA shows Typhoon Nanmadol, which is approaching southwestern Japan. (NASA Worldview, Earth Observation System Data and Information System (EOSDIS) via AP)

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This Saturday, September 17, 2022, a satellite image released by NASA shows Typhoon Nanmadol, which is approaching southwestern Japan. (NASA Worldview, Earth Observation System Data and Information System (EOSDIS) via AP)

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TOKYO — A powerful typhoon approaching southern Japan battered the region with strong winds and heavy rain on Sunday, causing power outages, paralysis of land and air transport and the evacuation of thousands of people.

The Japan Meteorological Agency said Typhoon Nanmadol was near the southern island of Yakushima, with maximum surface winds of 162 kilometers (101 miles) per hour, as it moved slowly northward toward the main island in the south of the country, Kyushu, where it could make landfall later on Sunday. .

Nanmadol is expected to turn east and reach Tokyo on Tuesday.

The agency predicted up to 50 centimeters (20 inches) of rainfall by midday Monday, warning of flooding and landslides. The agency also warned residents in the affected area of ​​”unprecedented” levels of powerful winds and waves, urging them to evacuate early.

Local authorities have so far reported no major damage or injuries.

In the hard-hit Kagoshima prefecture, more than 9,000 residents fled to evacuation centers on Sunday. In neighboring Miyazaki prefecture, another 4,700 people were evacuated.

Kyushu Electric Power Co. said more than 93,000 homes across the island of Kyushu were without power on Sunday due to damage to power lines and facilities.

NHK television footage showed a pachinko pinball parlor with part of its glass wall shattered by the gust in Kanoya town in Kagoshima. Elsewhere in the prefecture, an elderly woman suffered minor injuries in the fall, NHK said.

Hundreds of domestic flights to and from the region have been canceled and more are expected to be grounded in western Japan until Tuesday as the typhoon heads northeast, according to Japan Airlines. and All Nippon Airways.

Public transportation, including trains and buses in Kagoshima and Miyazaki, was suspended throughout Sunday. Rail operators said high-speed trains on the island of Kyushu have been suspended.