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Typhoon Halong heads for southern Japan

TOKYO - A strong typhoon was churning toward Japan's southern main island of Kyushu on Friday with heavy rains threatening to trigger landslides, the national weather agency said.

Typhoon Halong, packing winds of up to 198 kilometres (123 miles) per hour, could make landfall in southwestern Japan by Saturday, according to the Japan Meteorological Agency.

More than 100 centimetres (40 inches) of rain was expected to fall on the island of Shikoku, east of Kyushu, which had already been lashed by downpours from another typhoon last weekend, an agency official said.

"We’re asking residents to stay on high alert over landslides and to evacuate as early as possible when advised by local officials," Hiroshi Sasaki, the agency’s chief forecaster, told a news conference.

The typhoon, which was about 300 kilometres off Kyushu’s southern tip at 0900 GMT, was moving north at 15 kilometres per hour, the agency said.

The storm brought heavy rains and wind to islands east of the Okinawa chain on Friday, but there was no major damage reported.

Halong comes a month after Typhoon Neoguri killed several people and left a trail of destruction in southern Japan.

Last weekend, a man drowned in a raging river while more than half a million people were advised to evacuate as heavy rain from Typhoon Nakri lashed the country.

AFP


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