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Typhoon in Japan injures 44, causes blackouts

A powerful typhoon makes landfall in the southern region of Japan forcing thousands to evacuate their homes.
DPA | By HT Correspondent
UPDATED ON JUL 14, 2007 10:07 PM IST

A powerful typhoon made landfall in the southern region of Japan on Saturday, injuring at least 44, forcing thousands to evacuate their homes, leading to flight cancellations and causing blackouts.

The Japan Meteorological Agency warned residents of landslides and floods caused by heavy rainfall and strong winds as this season's fourth typhoon, Man-yi, moved northeast at 35 kmph through the Japanese archipelago.

At least 44 people have been injured - one critically - in the strong winds in the southern region of Kyushu and the southernmost island of Okinawa.

In Okinawa, a 78-year-old man remained in a coma after being knocked down by a strong winds and hitting his head on the ground.

A 60-year-old man broke his hip on Saturday when he fell in Fukuoka prefecture trying to reinforce the roof of his house prior to the typhoon landing, while an 80-year-old woman broke her right leg after being blown over by the wind.

More than 20,000 residents were forced to evacuate and seek shelter, and at least 34,000 households were left without electricity in Kagoshima and Miyazaki prefectures.

The typhoon disrupted Japan's air traffic with more than 590 flights cancelled, while landslides and strong winds disrupted train services and road traffic.

Foreign airlines had to postpone or cancel flights to Japan as some Japanese airports were closed or partially closed.

The Japanese government has upgraded its emergency liaison office, which was set up in the prime minister's office in Tokyo Friday for possible typhoon-related disasters.

Rainfall exceeded 1,000 mm in two days in southern parts of Japan, and the agency expected up to 600 mm of rainfall in 24 hours by midday on Sunday.

The typhoon, packing winds of up to 216 kmph, was expected to reach central Japan by early Monday.

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