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Strong Typhoon Talim predicted to approach Kyushu this weekend

The forecasted path of Typhoon Talim is shown as of 3 p.m. on Sept. 14, 2017. Times are in Coordinated Universal Time (UTC), and 6 a.m. corresponds to 3 p.m. Japan Standard Time (JST). (Image from the Japan Meteorological Agency website)

Powerful Typhoon Talim, which brought record rainfall to Miyakojima, Okinawa Prefecture, and strong winds to the region on Sept. 13, is expected to continue traveling up the Japanese islands and possibly make landfall in Kyushu this weekend, the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) said.

    The JMA estimates heavy rainfall in the area until 6 p.m. on Sept. 15, with 200 millimeters in the Okinawa region, 150 millimeters in the Amami region of Kagoshima Prefecture and 120 millimeters in southern Kyushu. The storm is expected to also continue traveling east on that day, and there is a chance it will approach, and possibly make landfall, in Kyushu between Sept. 16 and 17.

    As of 9 a.m. on Sept. 14, the 18th typhoon of the year was roughly 230 kilometers west of Kumejima island in Okinawa Prefecture, traveling north-northwest at a speed of some 15 kph. The typhoon has a central pressure of 935 hectopascals, with a maximum wind speed near the storm's center of 50 meters per second and a maximum wind gust speed of 70 meters per second. Even winds 200 kilometers away from the center of the storm have reached a speed of over 25 meters per second.

    According to the Okinawa Prefectural Government, a light automobile was overturned by the strong winds on Miyakojima island on Sept. 13, and one woman in her 40s aboard injured her wrist. A record of over 500 millimeters of rainfall was measured over a 24-hour period in certain spots in the city of Miyakojima -- what some are calling a once-in-50 years occurrence.

    As of 10 a.m. on Sept. 14, the Okinawa Electric Power Co. reported a total of 18,600 houses were without power in three municipalities, including 80 percent of Miyakojima city. The JMA issued landslide and high wave warnings and high wind and thunderstorm advisories, calling on residents of Miyakojima to be vigilant.

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