9 July 2014, 09:27

Powerful typhoon Neoguri hits Japan's Okinawa islands, 40 casualties reported

Powerful typhoon Neoguri hits Japan's Okinawa islands, 40 casualties reported

Super typhoon Neoguri struck Japanese Okinawa islands, bringing winds that gust higher than 100 mph (160 kmh). About 40 people have already been injured, media report.

More than 100,000 households are without electricity over broken electric power wire and other accidents in 31 settlements on Okinawa Island, more than 500,000 people have reportedly been asked to evacuate.

About 40 people have got different injuries. They mainly sustained fractures and bruises knocked down to the ground by strong gusts of wind.

Typhoon Neoguri which means racoon in English is expected to reach Japan’s capital, Tokyo, on Friday, ITAR-TASS reported from the Japanese capital.

The slow-moving storm was expected to reach Kyushu, the next main island in its path, sometime Thursday, according to Associated Press.

Japan is relatively well prepared for typhoons, but heavy downpours could cause landslides and flooding 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."

The storm was moving slowly and diminishing in intensity, but its wide area and slow movement could add to the potential damage, weather forecasters said.

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

Typhoon disrupts air traffic in Japan's Okinawa

The air traffic was disrupted with southern Japanese prefecture of Okinawa over approaching strong typhoon Neoguri on Tuesday. The main regional international airport was closed in the Okinawa administrative center of Naha until the end of Tuesday.

All sea voyages of passenger ferryboats and other vessels are cancelled. The traffic was suspended on a highway and a monorail railway on Okinawa island. All schools and kindergartens are closed there, TASS reports.

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