TOKYO – Typhoon Malakas has arrived in Japan causing heavy rainfall and flooding in southern and central regions of the country. The typhoon has generated wind measured up to 180 km/h and has been marked as a Category 3 hurricane on the five point Saffir-Simpson scale.

NHK has reported that at least eight people have been injured by the typhoon and around 620,000 people across the country were advised to leave their homes. Additionally, more than 114,000 households lost power in Kyushu from the damage.

Transportation was also effected by the typhoon as around 180 domestic flights were cancelled due to the heavy winds from the typhoon and local railways and roads in southern areas of Kyushu were temporarily suspended as well.

The typhoon brought record rainfall in the Miyazaki prefecture which is located on the southeastern part of the Kyushu island. Approximately 578 millimeters of rain fell within 24 hours in a city located in the prefecture. In the next few days the typhoon is expected to move northwards past Shikoku to Honshu.

As the typhoon moves up across the island of Honshu towards Tokyo, around 150mm to 250mm of rain is expected across the large parts of Honshu. In the city of Tanabe, a city located in Wakayama prefecture in southern Honshu, at least half dozen people were rescued by boats from their homes due to the massive rainfall that had flooded the city. A spokesman for the city commented that “The winds were really powerful and they rattled windows when the typhoon landed in the city.” However, the typhoon is expected to lose its steam from the interaction with the islands with its wind speed falling to about 110 km/h before making its way out of Japan towards the Pacific Ocean.

Last month, Typhoon Lionrock struck Japan and killed 22 people. Typhoon Malakas has so far resulted in far less casualties but a close monitoring of the typhoon is to be required.

This is the sixth typhoon to directly effect Japan this year since 1951 when the recordings began, making it the stormiest year ever on record alongside 1990 and 1993.

– Je Seung Lee, Correspondent (Asia: Far East)

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