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Strong typhoon approaching western Japan, may make landfall

This screenshot of the Japan Meteorological Agency website shows the expected course of Typhoon Cimaron in the coming days.
This screenshot of the Japan Meteorological Agency website shows the expected course of Typhoon Soulik on Aug. 22 and 23.

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- A very strong typhoon approaching western Japan could make landfall sometime between Thursday afternoon and Friday in an area already battered by massive flooding and landslides last month.

The weather agency has warned of heavy rain, strong winds and high waves as Typhoon Cimaron is expected to travel northward over western Japan regions toward the weekend.

Typhoon Soulik, another powerful typhoon, was moving northward across the sea west of the Kyushu main island in southwestern Japan and could still bring powerful winds and heavy rain in the area, the Japan Meteorological Agency said.

A gust of 185 kilometers per hour was recorded on Kagoshima Prefecture's Nakanoshima Island early Wednesday as the typhoon passed nearby the island.

The agency said the two typhoons could bring more than 1,000 millimeters of rain in some areas in the western and central regions.

As of 3 p.m. Wednesday, Cimaron was traveling about 380 kilometers west-southwest of Chichijima Island in the Pacific at a speed of 30 kph. The typhoon had an atmospheric pressure of 950 hectopascals at its center with gusts of up to 216 kph.

The government has set up a response unit at the risk management center in the prime minister's office to deal with the typhoon.

At a government meeting, disaster management minister Hachiro Okonogi urged the local governments to warn the public to evacuate promptly as needed.

In the 24-hour period through Thursday morning, rain of up to 300 mm is expected in western Japan and 200 mm in the southern Kyushu region.

Winds of up to 126 kph are expected through Thursday morning in northern Kyushu due to Soulik, according to the weather agency.

In July, more than 220 people died as heavy rains hit western Japan, triggering massive flooding and mudslides. The prefectures of Hiroshima, Okayama and Ehime were hit the hardest.

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