TOKYO, Japan: Typhoon Nanmadol has struck southern Japan, bringing strong winds and heavy rains, causing blackouts, paralyzing ground and air transportation and forcing the evacuation of thousands of people.
The Japan Meteorological Agency said the typhoon, packing maximum winds of 162 kilometers (101 miles) per hour, was heading north after making landfall in Kagoshima city on the island of Kyushu, adding that the typhoon continues heading towards Tokyo.
As much as 50 centimeters (20 inches) of rainfall is expected, along with flooding and landslides, the agency added, warning residents in affected areas of "unprecedented" levels of powerful winds and waves, and urging them to evacuate as soon as possible.
In Kagoshima, storm and high wave warnings have been issued, and residents were told to stay inside stable buildings on second floors or higher. In addition, more than 12,000 people have
taken shelter at evacuation centers.
Some 8,000 people have also left their homes in neighboring Miyazaki prefecture, where local officials said several people had been injured.
According to the Kyushu Electric Power Co., power outages were expanded across the region as the typhoon damaged more power lines and facilities, adding that 216,450 homes were
Meanwhile, Japan Airlines and All Nippon Airways said hundreds of domestic flights have been canceled, with more cancellations being planned in western Japan.
Additionally, public transportation, including trains and buses in many areas on Kyushu island were suspended, and railway operators said bullet trains on Kyushu have also suspended service.