Typhoon stops transport, knocks out power in Japan
by Elaine Kurtenbach, Associated Press
July 08, 2014 11:00 AM | 622 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Waves crash against Wase beach area following the approach of Typhoon Neoguri in Amami Oshima, southern Japan, Tuesday, July 8, 2014. One of the strongest and biggest typhoons to hit during Japan's summer months, The typhoon was packing sustained winds of 194 kilometers (120 miles) per hour and gusts up to 240 kph (148 mph), the Japan Meteorological Agency said. (AP Photo/Kyodo News)
Waves crash against Wase beach area following the approach of Typhoon Neoguri in Amami Oshima, southern Japan, Tuesday, July 8, 2014. One of the strongest and biggest typhoons to hit during Japan's summer months, The typhoon was packing sustained winds of 194 kilometers (120 miles) per hour and gusts up to 240 kph (148 mph), the Japan Meteorological Agency said. (AP Photo/Kyodo News)
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In this image provided by NASA, Typhoon Neoguri churns toward Okinawa and southern Japan on Tuesday, July 8, 2014. One of the strongest and biggest typhoons to hit during Japan's summer months, Neoguri was packing sustained winds of 194 kilometers (120 miles) per hour and gusts up to 240 kph (148 mph), the Japan Meteorological Agency said. (AP Photo/NASA)
In this image provided by NASA, Typhoon Neoguri churns toward Okinawa and southern Japan on Tuesday, July 8, 2014. One of the strongest and biggest typhoons to hit during Japan's summer months, Neoguri was packing sustained winds of 194 kilometers (120 miles) per hour and gusts up to 240 kph (148 mph), the Japan Meteorological Agency said. (AP Photo/NASA)
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A resident makes the rounds of his greenhouse of mango amid strong winds in Miyakojima, Okinawa, southern Japan, Tuesday, July 8, 2014. Powerful Typhoon Neoguri pounded across the southern Japanese islands of Okinawa on Tuesday, as residents took refuge from destructive winds, towering waves and storm surges. Airports closed and residents were evacuated from low-lying areas and shorelines as the typhoon passed over Okinawa, packing sustained winds of 175 kilometers (108 miles) per hour and gusts up to 250 kph (154 mph), the Japan Meteorological Agency said. (AP Photo/Kyodo News)
A resident makes the rounds of his greenhouse of mango amid strong winds in Miyakojima, Okinawa, southern Japan, Tuesday, July 8, 2014. Powerful Typhoon Neoguri pounded across the southern Japanese islands of Okinawa on Tuesday, as residents took refuge from destructive winds, towering waves and storm surges. Airports closed and residents were evacuated from low-lying areas and shorelines as the typhoon passed over Okinawa, packing sustained winds of 175 kilometers (108 miles) per hour and gusts up to 250 kph (154 mph), the Japan Meteorological Agency said. (AP Photo/Kyodo News)
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A man walks across a street amid strong winds in Naha, Okinawa, southern Japan, Tuesday, July 8, 2014. Powerful Typhoon Neoguri pounded across the southern Japanese islands of Okinawa on Tuesday, as residents took refuge from destructive winds, towering waves and storm surges. Airports closed and residents were evacuated from low-lying areas and shorelines as the typhoon passed over Okinawa, packing sustained winds of 175 kilometers (108 miles) per hour and gusts up to 250 kph (154 mph), the Japan Meteorological Agency said. (AP Photo/Kyodo News)
A man walks across a street amid strong winds in Naha, Okinawa, southern Japan, Tuesday, July 8, 2014. Powerful Typhoon Neoguri pounded across the southern Japanese islands of Okinawa on Tuesday, as residents took refuge from destructive winds, towering waves and storm surges. Airports closed and residents were evacuated from low-lying areas and shorelines as the typhoon passed over Okinawa, packing sustained winds of 175 kilometers (108 miles) per hour and gusts up to 250 kph (154 mph), the Japan Meteorological Agency said. (AP Photo/Kyodo News)
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TOKYO (AP) — A typhoon paralyzed transportation and knocked out power to thousands on the southern Japanese islands of Okinawa on Tuesday.

The Okinawan government said 17 people were injured, one seriously. Separately, a man was reported missing from a fishing boat in rough seas off Kyushu island, to the north.

One of the strongest and biggest typhoons to hit during Japan's summer, Typhoon Neoguri was packing sustained winds of 162 kilometers (100 miles) per hour and gusts up to 216 kph (134 mph) in late evening, the Japan Meteorological Agency said.

The storm was weakening, but forecasters said its wide area and slow movement could add to the potential damage. Japan is relatively well prepared for typhoons, but torrential rains could cause greater damage if the typhoon moves across the Japanese archipelago as expected on Thursday or Friday.

"Please refrain from nonessential activities and from approaching hazardous areas," said Meteorological Agency official Satoshi Ebihara. "Please show extreme caution."

Local airports were closed and nearly 600,000 people were advised to evacuate their homes, though most stayed put, taking refuge from the destructive winds, waves up to 14 meters (46 feet) high and storm surges that were set to intensify as the storm passed the main island of Okinawa in the evening and headed north toward Kyushu. Almost 100,000 homes remained out of electricity late Tuesday.

More than half of the 50,000 U.S. troops in Japan are based in Okinawa, the location of several bases, including Kadena, the biggest U.S. air base in Asia. An advisory on its website said all outdoor activity was prohibited due to the storm.

Television footage showed a building shattered, damaged storefronts and trees toppled as winds picked up in the Okinawan capital of Naha.

Forecasts show the storm tracking toward Kyushu and then across Japan's main island of Honshu. It is forecast to lose more of its power over land, but heavy rains could trigger landslides or flooding. Such risks are elevated by the storm's timing, on the tail end of Japan's summer rainy season.

Authorities in China and Taiwan also warned ships to stay clear of the storm.

Neoguri is a Korean word meaning "raccoon dog," a knee-high animal that looks like a cross between a dog and a raccoon but is a separate species common in East Asia.

___

Associated Press writers Jim Gomez in Manila, Philippines, and Mari Yamaguchi in Tokyo contributed to this report.



Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.



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