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Saturday 20 September 2014

One dead as typhoon lashes Japan

Published 10/08/2014 | 07:00

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Heavy rain is forecast for Tokyo

A weakened typhoon slammed into Japan, leaving one person dead, more than 30 injured and prompting evacuation alerts for some 1.1 million residents near swollen rivers.

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Tropical Storm Halong disrupted land and air traffic just as Japan began its annual "Obon" Buddhist holiday week.

The storm slowed down as it made two landfalls - over Shikoku Island and Hyogo prefecture in western Japan - and was on track to move out into the Sea of Japan later today. It was forecast to further lose strength in the next 12 hours.

Japan's Meteorological Agency issued the highest alert for heavy rain in Mie prefecture in central Japan, prompting two towns to order more than 500,000 residents to move away from swollen rivers. Another 600,000 people were advised to evacuate across the country.

In Iwate, northern Japan, a 78-year-old man was found dead late after plunging into a swollen irrigation canal at his farm.

In Miyazai, southern Japan, a woman in her 70s broke her ankle as a portable toilet booth fell on her while she was walking by.

Japan's public television NHK said 33 people were injured.

More than 200 flights were cancelled, stranding thousands of holidaymakers at airports around the country.

The storm, packing winds of up to 60mph, was expected to dump 12ins of rain in central Japan by tomorrow morning. The meteorological agency warned of landslides and floods.

The agency also predicted heavy rain in Tokyo and northern Japan today.

Press Association

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