WORLD About 200,000 homes in Japan without power due to typhoon

WORLD

About 200,000 homes in Japan without power due to typhoon

AFP

19:55, September 29, 2018

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Photo taken on Sept. 29, 2018, shows waves crashing on the coast of Yonabaru, Okinawa Prefecture, as typhoon Trami approaches Japan's southernmost prefecture. (Photos: VCG)

A powerful typhoon pummeled Japan's southern island of Okinawa Saturday, causing nearly 200,000 homes without electricity and injuring at least 17, as weather officials warned the storm would rip through the Japanese archipelago over the weekend. 

Typhoon Trami, packing maximum gusts of 216 kilometers (134 miles) per hour near its center, was forecast to hit the mainland early Sunday and cause extreme weather across the country into Monday.

Television footage showed branches ripped from trees by strong winds blocking a main street in the regional capital Naha, as well as torrential horizontal rain and massive waves splashing over breakwaters on a remote island in the area. 

Local policemen in rain jackets wielding chainsaws were battling the furious wind to remove fallen trees. 

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Photo taken on Sept. 29, 2018, shows a street in Naha, Okinawa Prefecture, hit by strong rain and wind as typhoon Trami approaches Japan's southernmost prefecture.

The gusts were strong enough to overturn a truck and smash the glass windows of a bank. 

Some 700 people were evacuated to shelters in Okinawa and at least 386 flights were cancelled, mainly in western Japan, according to Japan's public broadcaster NHK. 

West Japan Railway said it would suspend all services in the Osaka region and cancel some Shinkansen bullet trains by noon on Sunday. 

Seventeen people suffered minor injuries in storm-related accidents in Okinawa and several houses suffered some damage, but no one was feared dead, local officials said.

"The number may rise further as we are in the middle of sorting out figures," said Masatsune Miyazato, an official at the island's disaster-management office. 

There have already been heavy downpours in large areas of western and eastern Japan, including the capital, as the storm spurred a seasonal rain front. 

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