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Strong typhoon expected to bring heavy rain, strong winds to Kanto

(Mainichi)

Powerful Typhoon Lionrock could directly hit the Kanto region around Tokyo or the Tohoku region in northern Honshu on Aug. 30, the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) said.

If the typhoon directly hits the Pacific Ocean side of the Tohoku region, it will be the first such case since 1951 when the JMA began compiling statistics on typhoons striking the country.

Since the typhoon is more powerful than three others that hit Japan earlier this month, the agency has urged the public to pay close attention to the path of the typhoon.

As of 9 a.m. on Aug. 29, the typhoon, this year's 10th, was situated south of Hachijo Island, south of Tokyo, and moving northeast at about 25 kilometers per hour. The atmospheric pressure at its center was 945 hectopascals. The typhoon is packing winds of up to 45 meters per second at its center. The maximum instantaneous wind speed was 60 meters.

If the typhoon strikes Japan by the end of August, it means that four typhoons will have hit the country in a single month, the third time this has happened since August 1962.

Municipal government officials deliver sandbags to residents of Ichikawa, Chiba Prefecture, on Aug. 28, 2016, as powerful Typhoon Lionrock approaches the Kanto region. (Mainichi)

Typhoon Lionrock formed east of Hachijo Island on Aug. 19. Typhoons usually move northeast, but Lionrock moved southwest because of a high pressure system that covered western Japan. In a rare move, after stalling over the sea south of Minami Daito Island in Okinawa Prefecture, the typhoon turned eastward. Since it lingered over an area where the sea surface temperature was high, it became extremely powerful.

The typhoon is likely to turn northward on the afternoon of Aug. 29 after its power peaks by that morning. The following day, Lionrock is expected to move east of the Kanto region and turn northwestward, then hit the Tohoku region before going into the Sea of Japan.

The typhoon is forecasted to bring up to 150 millimeters of rain to some areas of the Kanto-Koshin, Tohoku and Hokkaido regions over a 24-hour period until 6 a.m. on Aug. 30.

Rain amounting to 80 millimeters per hour could hit some areas of the Kanto region on Aug. 30, and the Tohoku and Hokkaido regions on Aug. 30 and 31, the JMA warns.

The typhoon will likely bring strong winds to affected areas on Aug. 30. The JMA forecasts that the maximum wind speed will be 35 meters per second, or 126 kilometers per hour, in the Tohoku region and 23 meters per second, or 83 kilometers per hour, in the Kanto and Hokkaido regions.

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