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Typhoon Haishen to threaten Okinawa on morning of Sept. 6, landfall feared in Kyushu

The projected course of Typhoon Haishen as of 12 p.m. on Sept. 5, 2020 Japan time is seen in this image from the Japan Meteorological Agency website.

FUKUOKA -- Powerful Typhoon Haishen was located about 190 kilometers south-southeast of Minami-Daito Island in Japan's southernmost prefecture of Okinawa and was traveling northwest at a speed of 15 kilometers per hour as of 11 a.m. on Sept. 5.

    The 10th typhoon of the year is expected to gain ferocious intensity requiring a special warning, and approach the Okinawa region on the morning of Sept. 6 and the Amami Islands off Japan's southwestern Kyushu region that afternoon.

    The typhoon is feared to approach and make landfall in Kyushu while maintaining its strength between the afternoon of Sept. 6 and Sept. 7. As storms that could knock down houses and heavy rain are expected to hit Okinawa, Amami and various regions in southern Kyushu, the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) is calling for residents to take caution and evacuate early.

    According to the JMA, as of 11 a.m. on Sept. 5, Typhoon Haishen had a central air pressure of 920 hectopascals, and was packing sustained windspeeds of up to 180 kilometers per hour near its core, with gusts reaching a maximum of 252 kph. Violent winds of at least 90 kph lashed areas within a 280-kilometer radius from the typhoon's center. In the village of Kitadaito in Okinawa Prefecture, gusts of up to around 130 kph were observed shortly before 9 a.m.

    Maximum instantaneous windspeeds up to Sept. 6 are expected to reach 288 kph in Okinawa and Amami, 234 kph in southern Kyushu and 126 kph in northern Kyushu.

    Rainfall over a 24-hour period up to 6 a.m. on Sept. 6 is forecast to reach 300 millimeters in Okinawa, 150 millimeters in Amami, 100 millimeters in the Kanto-Koshin region in eastern Japan and 80 millimeters in northern Kyushu and central Japan's Tokai region. The JMA is calling for people to exercise maximum caution as storms, heavy rain and high tidal waves of unprecedented levels are feared to hit these regions.

    The approach of Typhoon Haishen is affecting public transport systems in southwestern Japan. Nishi-Nippon Railroad Co., based in the city of Fukuoka, will suspend services on the Nishitetsu Tenjin-Omuta Line and Kaizuka Line from 9 p.m. on Sept. 6, and all train services from the morning of Sept. 7.

    (Japanese original by Kazuya Inoue, Kyushu News Department)

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