At least two dead as Typhoon Noru nears main Japanese islands

TOKYO • A slow-moving but weakening Typhoon Noru, at one point the strongest storm in the world this year, approached the main islands of Japan yesterday, leaving two people dead and prompting evacuation advisories to be issued for hundreds of thousands.

The Amami island chain, located just south of the south-west main island of Kyushu, was pounded by heavy rain and high winds over the weekend, leaving at least one road broken in pieces and setting off a handful of landslides.

Evacuation advisories were issued for at least 210,000 along a broad swathe of Kyushu, the Fire and Disaster Management Agency said. By 5pm (4pm, Singapore time) though, some advisories were being lifted in Kagoshima, situated on the island's southernmost tip, according to the Kagoshima government.

At least two people have been killed by the storm as of yesterday - a man was knocked down by heavy winds and a fisherman went missing after going out to check on his boat. Nine were injured, the Fire Agency said.

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Parts of southern Kyushu were hit by as much as 34mm of rain in the hour till 5pm, but the northern and central regions of the island, hit by devastating floods that killed 36 and left four missing just a month ago, were likely to be spared the brunt of the storm as it bore down on the island of Shikoku.

At one point, the Category 5 Noru - its name is the Korean word for a type of deer - was set to weaken into a tropical storm late yesterday or early today, before hitting the main island of Honshu, according to website Tropical Storm Risk.com.

  • 210k

    Number of people for whom evacuation advisories were issued along a broad swathe of Kyushu island, according to the Fire and Disaster Management Agency.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 07, 2017, with the headline 'At least two dead as Typhoon Noru nears main Japanese islands'. Print Edition | Subscribe