Typhoon Halong Moves Closer To Shikoku



Typhoon Halong lashed large areas of southwest Japan on Saturday, grounding some 460 flights and stranding thousands of Obon holidaymakers.

Typhoon Halong, packing winds of up to 198 kilometres (123 miles) per hour, will make landfall in southwest Japan late today or early tomorrow, according to the Japan Meteorological Agency.

The outer bands of the storm have already brought heavy rain and strong winds to large areas of the Japanese archipelago, as television footage showed high waves triggered by the typhoon splashing over breakwaters.

At least 460 flights were cancelled on Saturday across Japan due to the storm, which came as Japan had just begun its annual "Obon" summer holiday, NHK said.

Over the next 24 hours, the storm is expected to dump 70 centimetres (28 inches) of rain on the southwest island of Shikoku, which had already been flooded by by downpours from another typhoon last weekend, the national weather agency said.

The agency warned of major landslides and floods mainly in western Japan, while local authorities in Tokushima in Shikoku issued an evacuation advisory to some 44,100 residents, officials said.

The typhoon, which was about 100 kilometres off Shikoku's southern tip at  5:40 PM, Japan time, and was moving northeast at 15 kilometres per hour.

NHK, JMA

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