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Powerful Typhoon Cimaron hits western Japan, injures 13 in 7 prefectures

A wind power generator is seen collapsed in Awaji, Hyogo Prefecture, on Aug. 24, 2018, apparently after being blown over by strong winds generated by Typhoon Cimaron. (Mainichi)

Powerful Typhoon Cimaron made landfall in the Shikoku and Kinki regions in western Japan before moving off over the Sea of Japan in the predawn hours of Aug. 24, leaving at least 13 people injured in seven western Japanese prefectures.

Strong wind warnings and advisories remained in place for a wide area of the Japanese archipelago on Aug. 24, while heavy rain and flood advisories have been issued in some regions.

As of 5 a.m. on Aug. 24, evacuation instructions had been issued to at least 93,140 people in 42,171 households in Mie, Osaka, Hyogo, Nara, Wakayama, Hiroshima and Kagawa prefectures. A total of 943,866 people in 428,465 households have been advised by local bodies to take shelter.

According to the Fire and Disaster Management Agency, at least 13 people were injured, some seriously, in the western Japanese prefectures of Fukui, Mie, Shiga, Osaka, Hyogo, Wakayama and Tokushima.

In Awaji, Hyogo Prefecture, a 60-meter-tall wind turbine collapsed from its base at a park, apparently after being blown over by strong winds generated by the typhoon. Nobody was injured in the incident.

The remains of a urethane panel that was partially torn from a condominium rooftop by strong winds is seen in Nishinomiya, Hyogo Prefecture, on Aug. 24, 2018. (Mainichi)

At around 7:45 a.m., local police received an emergency call reporting that the wind turbine had collapsed. The turbine, belonging to the Awaji Municipal Government, consists of three blades with a diameter of 45 meters and a 37-meter-tall tower. It has a maximum output of 600 kilowatts. The generator is designed to automatically stop when wind speeds exceed 25 meters per second, or 90 kilometers per hour. However, the generator had not been in operation since May 2017 due to technical problems.

According to the Kobe Local Meteorological Office, the maximum instantaneous wind speed reached 28.6 m/s, or nearly 103 kph, in the Gunge district of Awaji on the night of Aug. 23.

Five homes were partially damaged by the typhoon in Fukui, Wakayama and Kochi prefectures, while seven residences were flooded in Osaka, Nara and Wakayama prefectures, the agency said.

In Shingu, Wakayama Prefecture, the Kumano River overflowed at 12:20 a.m. on Aug. 24, prompting the municipal government to issue evacuation instructions to 857 people in 464 households at 12:34 a.m.

A large piece of a heavy urethane panel covering the rooftop of a 14-story condominium in Nishinomiya, Hyogo Prefecture, measuring about 10 meters by 10 meters, was ripped off by strong winds from the typhoon and fell onto a parking lot below, breaking the windows of three cars parked there. Prefectural police said nobody was injured in the incident.

"I heard what sounded like thunder, and I was surprised," said a man who lives in the building.

The Kumano River that overflowed in Shingu, Wakayama Prefecture, is seen on Aug. 24, 2018. (Mainichi)

Train service in central Japan was also affected by the typhoon. West Japan Railway Co. (JR West) on Aug. 24 cancelled 87 express trains that connect the Kinki region around Osaka with the Hokuriku region and other areas. Service on 15 lines in the Kinki region was totally or partially suspended on the morning of Aug. 24. Operations will be resumed later in the day as JR West confirms their safety.

The Tokaido Shinkansen Line between Tokyo and Shin-Osaka and the Sanyo Shinkansen Line between Shin-Osaka and Hakata remain unaffected by the typhoon.

Some flights to and from Kansai International Airport in southern Osaka Prefecture were cancelled.

According to Kansai Electric Power Co., power supply remained cut off to 32,670 households in seven western Japanese prefectures, including Wakayama and Hyogo, as of 10:30 a.m. on Aug. 24.

As of noon, the typhoon, the 20th of this season, was situated about 270 kilometers north of Wajima, Ishikawa Prefecture, and moving north-northeast at 45 kilometers per hour. Its central atmospheric pressure was 990 hectopascals. Its maximum wind speed stood at 25 m/s (90 kph) with gusts up to 35 m/s (126 kph). The typhoon is weakening and expected to be downgraded to an extratropical cyclone by the night of Aug. 24.

The typhoon brought extremely heavy rain and winds in some areas. Rainfall reached 110 millimeters per hour in Nose, Osaka Prefecture in the predawn hours of Aug. 24.

The maximum instantaneous wind speeds hit new records at 22 locations, mainly in Shikoku and Kinki. The Tomogashima district of the city of Wakayama saw a maximum instantaneous wind of 52.3 m/s (about 188 kph) while the figure came to 42.2 m/s (nearly 152 kph) at Kobe Airport.

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