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Heavy rains feared throughout Japan as Typhoon Malou heads northeast

(Mainichi)

Heavy rains and strong winds could hit wide areas of Japan through the morning of Sept. 8 as Typhoon Malou may make landfall on the Japanese mainland, the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) said.

The 13th typhoon of the year was situated approximately 100 kilometers south of Tanegashima Island off the northern tip of Kagoshima Prefecture as of 9 a.m. on Sept. 7, heading east-northeast at a speed of 30 kilometers per hour. It is feared to make landfall after heading northeast of Japan's southern coast through Sept. 8 and the JMA is warning of swollen rivers, flooding, landslides and high tides.

According to the agency, the atmospheric pressure at the center of Typhoon Malou measured 1,000 hectopascals, packing winds of up to 18 meters per second, or 64.8 kilometers per hour, with a maximum instantaneous wind speed of 25 meters per second, or 90 kilometers per hour. Areas within a radius of 220 kilometers to the southeast around the typhoon center and within a radius of 110 kilometers to the northwest lie in the strong wind area.

Due to Typhoon Malou and a weather front, the amount of rain measured in the Gunma Prefecture city of Shibukawa totaled approximately 100 millimeters per hour on the morning of Sept. 7, followed by 47 millimeters of rain per hour in the town of Shioya, Tochigi Prefecture, and 44 millimeters in Nanjo, Okinawa Prefecture. Hachijo-jima Island and Miyake Island off Tokyo registered peak gusts of 21.1 meters per second, or 75.96 kilometers per hour.

A total of four houses in the cities of Numata and Shibukawa in Gunma were flooded and six Numata residents evacuated. A landslide occurred in the Gunma town of Tone and mud gushed into the first floor of buildings nearby.

Typhoon Malou is forecasted to make its closest approach to the Shikoku region at around 6 p.m. on Sept. 7 and is expected to turn into a tropical depression by around 9 a.m. the following day as it nears the Tokai region on the mainland. It is then expected to move along the Japanese archipelago.

Rainfalls of up to 200 millimeters over a 24-hour period until 6 a.m. on Sept. 8 are forecasted in the Kinki region, up to 150 millimeters in the Tokai and Kanto-Koshin region and 120 millimeters in Okinawa and surrounding areas.

It is feared that heavy rains could once again pound Iwate Prefecture and Hokkaido, which were recently battered by powerful Typhoon Lionrock, depending on the direction that Typhoon Malou heads.

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