FAR EAST: TYPHOON KILLS 2 RUSSIAN SAILORS

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MOSCOW/TOKYO, September 7 (RIA Novosti) - The Songda typhoon killed two Russian sailors as their dry-cargo vessel wrecked today in the Hatsukaichi seaport, Hiroshima prefecture, Russia's Transport Ministry PR report with reference to the Hiroshima maritime rescue coordination centre.

14 out of a crew of 18 had been rescued by 4 p.m., Moscow time. Two were dead, and another two missing.

The "Blue Ocean", owned by the Pacific Transshipping Service, is registered in Pnompenh, Cambodia, and has a Russian crew. It left Nakhodka in the Russian Far East for Japan, September 2, with a timber freight.

The typhoon unmoored the ship 10.34, Moscow time, today. The "Blue Ocean" struck the reefs, capsized and went down with an engine-room hole, the ministry says in a press release.

Previous Japanese reports referred to 19 on board. The ministry thus explains the controversy: 19 were registered for the voyage in Nakhodka, and one presumably failed to catch up with the departing ship.

An Indonesian vessel also wrecked in the Songda, and three of its crew died. The typhoon injured a total 32, and another 21 are missing, reports the Hiroshima prefecture police board.

The typhoon passed Honshu to reach the Sea of Japan and move on toward Russia's Sakhalin island, the Japanese Weather Agency announced this afternoon.

More than 200 flights were cancelled in Japan, Sunday and Monday morning. Railway and ferry transport was suspended. More than 60,000 Japanese had no electricity. Almost all primary and secondary schools in the country's south suspended classes.

The Songda came as one of the worst typhoons that had ever hit Okinawa and Japan's south. Wind velocity beat all records with 60.2 m/sec.

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