TOKYO (AFP) - Powerful Typhoon Vongfong was churning towards Japan's main islands Sunday after strong winds and heavy rain left 23 injured in the south.
The monster storm hit the southern Okinawan islands over the weekend and is now moving towards the main Kyushu and Honshu islands, where it is due to make landfall as early as Monday morning, the national weather agency said.
Vongfong was in the southern area of Kagoshima at 2am GMT on Sunday, the meteorological agency said, placing it around 230km west of Amami-Oshima island. It is packing gusts of up to 180kmh as it moves north-northwest. "The typhoon is feared to go near or make landfall on the Kyushu and Honshu main islands through Monday to Tuesday," meteorologist Hiroshi Sasaki told reporters.
At least 23 people have been injured in the southernmost Okinawa prefecture, including a man in his 20s and a nine-year-old girl who had their fingers cut off by a door slamming due to ferocious winds. "These are two separate cases, but in both cases they lost one of their fingers as the door closed violently due to the strong winds," said a local official.
The typhoon came just a week after another strong tropical storm whipped through the country, leaving 11 people dead or missing.