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Typhoon Gaemi brings record-breaking rain to Okinawa

Typhoon Gaemi has brought record-breaking rain to some areas of Okinawa, the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) said.

    The typhoon, this year's sixth, moved east-northeast over the Pacific Ocean on the morning of June 16 and is nearing Okinawa's main island. The Okinawa Prefecture villages of Iheya and Izena had more than 400 millimeters of rain over a 48-hour period -- an intensity observed only about once every 50 years.

    The typhoon will approach Okinawa's main island sometime around the evening of June 16 and come close to the Amami Islands in Kagoshima Prefecture before noon on June 17. The JMA has warned of landslides and other possible threats, while the Okinawa Prefectural Government has issued a landslide warning for the north of Okinawa's main island.

    According to the JMA's Okinawa Regional Headquarters, some areas of Okinawa's main island have seen over 340 millimeters of rain since it started raining, due to both the typhoon and a seasonal rain front.

    In the village of Izena, 120 millimeters of rain was observed over a one-hour period up to 10:20 a.m. on June 16.

    As of 9 a.m. on June 16, the typhoon was located some 60 kilometers west of the prefectural capital of Naha and was moving east-northeast at a speed of 30 kilometers per hour. The atmospheric pressure at its center was 992 hectopascals. It was packing sustained winds of up to 20 meters per second (72 kilometers per hour), and the maximum instantaneous wind speed was 30 meters per second (108 kilometers per hour). The typhoon is expected to weaken into an extratropical cyclone about 90 kilometers east of Amami Oshima Island by around 9 a.m. on June 17.

    (Japanese original by Masanori Hirakawa, News Department, Kyushu Head Office)

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