9:01 am - Monday July 22, 2019

Typhoon Vongfong Lashes Southern Japan

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TOKYO—Typhoon Vongfong reached Japan’s main islands Monday morning, bringing heavy winds and rain to southern and western parts of Japan, prompting evacuation advisories for more than 400,000 people and disrupting transportation networks.

Vongfong reached the southern island of Kyushu after 8 a.m. local time, bringing with it gusts of wind up to 100 miles an hour. Heavy rain and flood warnings have been issued throughout the eastern half of Kyushu, most of Shikoku island and large parts of western Honshu, Japan’s largest island. Parts of eastern Kyushu are also affected by landslide warnings and power outages.

The latest typhoon to hit Japan comes just a week after Phanfone pounded the archipelago, killing seven people including three U.S. servicemen in Okinawa, according to local media. So far Vongfong has caused 46 injuries, according to national broadcaster NHK. One person is missing off the coast of Shizuoka, NHK also said.

As of 11:45 a.m. local time (0245 GMT), the typhoon, characterized as strong by the Japan Meteorological Agency, was centered above Miyazaki city in southeastern Kyushu and traveling at about 18 miles an hour. It was expected to make its way across Japan’s main islands on a course that will take it past Tokyo. It is expected to reach the capital by around 3 a.m. local time on Tuesday.

At a midmorning news conference, the agency noted that the typhoon’s speed had increased from several hours earlier.

More than 15 inches of rain is expected to fall on Shikoku, the island to the northeast of Kyushu, between Monday and Tuesday morning, NHK said.

Nearly 400 regional flights have been canceled due to the storm, across all airlines servicing the region, with Japan Airlines and All Nippon Airways 9202.TO -0.82% —the nation’s largest carriers—among the hardest hit. The cancellations come on the last day of an extended holiday weekend, inconveniencing travelers.

Japan’s markets and many businesses are closed Monday due to the public holiday.

Miyazaki prefecture issued evacuation advisories affecting 342,000 people in eastern Kyushu and a landslide warning for parts of the prefecture.

People living in neighborhoods in the city of Hiroshima in western Japan affected by recent landslides have also been advised to evacuate. Heavy rains at the end of August triggered mudslides in the city, killing more than 70 people.

Kyushu Electric Power Co. 9508.TO -1.21% said 414,000 households in its service area were affected by power outages. Many railway services in Kyushu have also been suspended or disrupted.

Among the injuries reported so far, local authorities said that a girl in Okinawa, Japan’s southernmost prefecture, had her finger amputated after getting it caught in a door that blew shut in a gust of wind.

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