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9 dead, 31 hurt as typhoon Shanshan hits Japan

Shanshan is expected to turn northeast to hit the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido by Wednesday morning.

india Updated: Sep 18, 2006 16:07 IST

Powerful typhoon Shanshan moved off the Japanese west coast Monday, after killing nine people, injuring 310 and leaving one person missing, as it cut across southern Japan, officials said on Monday.

As of 3:00 pm, the typhoon was in the Sea of Japan (East Sea) between Japan and China, the Japan Meteorological Agency said.

Shanshan, packing winds of up to 108 kms per hour, was moving toward the Russian coast, but was expected to turn northeast to hit the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido by Wednesday morning, the agency added.

The agency issued high wave and strong wind warnings to areas along the Sea of Japan.

It also warned of strong rains in the Kanto region, of which Tokyo is a part, and other areas.

The agency also called on the public beware of possible landslides and flooding, particularly in northern Japan, where the typhoon was headed.

"As the typhoon moves north, stronger winds are expected in the Hokuriku and Hokkaido regions along the Sea of Japan. Waves along the areas are likely to become suddenly high," the agency said.

The typhoon hit land near Sasebo on the southern island of Kyushu shortly after 6:00 pm on Sunday on its way from the East China Sea.

In all, nine people, mostly in the Kyushu region, died during the weekend of storms in Japan, which injured 310 people and sent more than 12,000 to public shelters.

It destroyed 41 houses and severely damaged 67 others, according to the Fire and Disaster Management Agency.

A 39-year-old electrician died in Fukuoka prefecture in Kyushu Sunday afternoon, after an industrial container at his firm fell on top of him, the agency said.

At a port in Oita prefecture in Kyushu, a moored ferry from Maldives overturned late Sunday, throwing five crew members to the sea, killing one of them.

A local journalist covering the effect of the typhoon in western Hiroshima remains missing since Saturday night, the agency said.

In Hiroshima, emergency workers on Sunday found the body of a 50-year-old firefighter, who fell into a swollen river overnight, a Hiroshima police spokesman said.

Among cities in Kyushu, Nobeoka was hit the hardest, where an express train was blown off the tracks Sunday, slightly injuring six of some 45 passengers on board, police said.

A glass entrance of a supermarket in the city was crushed by flying debris, knocking down a shell with three people underneath it. One of them died after he was taken to hospital.

Also in Nobeoka, a 42-year-old man was found dead Sunday in a crushed bedroom littered with roof tiles and glass splinters while an 84-year-old woman farmer was knocked dead by a fallen tree outside a greenhouse, according to local police.

Three other deaths were confirmed on Sunday in Saga in Kyushu, a day after they went missing in flood waters.

First Published: Sep 18, 2006 16:07 IST