Typhoon Maysak lashes Japan’s southwest, with another typhoon approaching

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Huge waves brought by super typhoon Soudelor hit a rider on the coast in Wenling City, east China's Zhejiang Province, Aug. 8, 2015. (Xinhua/Zhou Xuejun)
(Xinhua/Zhou Xuejun)

Japan’s southwestern main island of Kyushu took a pummeling as Typhoon Maysak passed near the region and injured at least 18 people, local officials said Thursday, as the south braces for a second typhoon which was described as “tremendously strong.”

Typhoon Maysak caused around 80,000 blackouts as it passed the Kyushu region before heading towards the Korean Peninsula, Kyushu Electric Power Co. said, while Shinkansen bullet train services and some flights in the region also had to be suspended as a cautionary measure, officials said.

In the wake of Maysak, southern regions in Japan are now bracing for another powerful typhoon — Haishen as it draws closer, the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) said.

The JMA said Haishen is expected to reach waters near the Amami island chain in Japan’s southwest on Sunday.

Minister for disaster management, Ryota Takeda, in a meeting with government officials, has already cautioned people to prepare for the incoming typhoon, warning against going outdoors and urging people to remain vigilant.

The JMA said the typhoon was charting a westward trajectory and moving at a speed of about 20 km per hour as of 12:00 p.m. local time on Thursday.

The weather agency said Haishen’s central atmospheric pressure was 970 hectopascals, with its core maximum wind velocity clocked at 126 km per hour.

Its maximum instantaneous wind speed, in addition, has been recorded at 180 km per hour, the JMA said.

As the typhoon approaches the Daitojima region of Okinawa Prefecture, the agency said that powerful gusts of up to 180 km per hour are forecast to lash Okinawa and the Amami region of Kagoshima on Saturday.

Torrential downpours are expected, along with tornado-strength winds, the weather agency said, adding that high waves and storm surges were also likely.

Damage of a “devastating nature” could be delivered by Haishen to wide swathes of Japan’s south, even if the typhoon doesn’t actually make landfall, the JMA said, referring to the storm’s “wide zone” and “tremendous strength.”

Local officials urged people in the soon-to-be-affected regions to be aware of their surroundings and be on high alert for evacuation adversaries or orders, or to self-evacuate if necessary.

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