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Large Typhoon Tapah lashes Okinawa with strong winds, rough seas, heading to Kyushu

The forecast path of Typhoon Tapah as of 6 p.m. on Sept. 21, 2019. (Image from the Japan Meteorological Agency website)

TOKYO -- Large and powerful Typhoon Tapah, which brought strong winds to extensive areas of the southernmost prefecture of Okinawa on Sept. 21, will likely approach Kyushu the following day, the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) said.

The sea around the Okinawa region and the Amami Islands north of Okinawa will remain extremely rough until the evening of Sept. 21. The agency warns of strong winds, high waves and storm surges as well as floods and swollen rivers.

As of 5 p.m. on Sept. 21, the typhoon, this year's 17th, was located approximately 190 kilometers northwest of Kume Island in Okinawa and moving north-northwest at 20 kilometers per hour. The atmospheric pressure at its center was 970 hectopascals and the typhoon was bringing maximum sustained wind speeds of 35 meters per second (126 kilometers per hour). The maximum wind gust speed around the tropical storm is 50m/s (180 kph).

The typhoon is forecast to move north above the East China Sea and pass through the Tsushima Strait situated between Kyushu in southwestern Japan and the Korean Peninsula on Sept. 22. The typhoon will then move northeast above the Sea of Japan between Sept. 23 and 24 and could lash northern Japan.

A seasonal rain front near the Japanese archipelago will move north along with the typhoon, allowing warm and wet air to blow into western Japan, destabilizing the air condition.

The amount of rain over a 24-hour period up to 6 p.m. on Sept. 22 is estimated at 400 millimeters in southern Kyushu, 300 millimeters in northern Kyushu, 250 millimeters in Shikoku, western Japan, 150 millimeters in the Okinawa and Amami regions as well as the Kinki region in western Japan and 120 millimeters in the Chugoku region in western Japan, according to the JMA.


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