Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Kyushu evacuates 90,000 as typhoon approaches

Jacob Adelman in Bloomberg News: Typhoon Neoguri headed toward Japan’s southernmost main island of Kyushu, prompting the evacuation of almost 90,000 people amid the threat of floods and landslides.

Neoguri was west of Kyushu with top winds reaching 148 kilometers (92 miles) per hour, down from yesterday’s 252 kph, according to the Japan Meteorological Agency. The storm, which was heading east as of 7:50 pm local time, left 20 injured in Okinawa yesterday, where it grounded flights and prompted evacuations.

Parts of Kyushu will probably be hit by tomorrow with violent winds, swollen rivers and waves up to 10 meters high, the weather agency reported on its website. While rain brought by the storm will generally amount to 1 inch (2.5 centimeters) to 3 inches, some areas may get as much as 5 inches, leading to “localized flooding in higher terrain,” says Commodity Weather Group LLC.

“The storm is weakening just slightly faster and should be down to tropical storm force winds, 55 knots (102 kph), at landfall in southwestern Japan in about 12 hours,” David Streit, a forecaster at CWG in Bethesda, Maryland, said in an e-mail received at 6:23 p.m. Tokyo time. “Winds will be down to 35 knots when it passes Tokyo about 24 hours later.”

Officials in the Kyushu city of Amakusa urged 87,327 residents today to take shelter in gyms and other buildings being used as evacuation centers, as the storm threatened homes, public broadcaster NHK reported on its website....

The eyewall of Neoguri seen July 7, 2014, from the International Space Station

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