Typhoon Hits Southern Japan

Friday, July 13th 2007, 11:17 am
By: News On 6

TOKYO (AP) _ A powerful typhoon pounded Japan's southern Okinawa island chain Friday, cutting power to tens of thousands of households and grounding flights with winds up to 100 mph, officials said.

Typhoon Man-Yi has injured 27 people, the Okinawa state government said, many of them knocked to the ground by gusts of wind.

Wind speeds were clocked at up to 100 mph as the storm passed Naha, the regional capital, the Meteorological Agency said.

Public broadcaster NHK showed footage of a steel structure at a golf driving range in central Okinawa knocked to the ground and a parked delivery truck turned on its side.

The typhoon is moving north at 18.6 mph and is forecast to hit the southern main island of Kyushu on Saturday, the agency said. It is expected to then rake Japan's Pacific coast toward Tokyo.

Nearly 98,000 of Okinawa's households, about one-sixth of its total, were without power, it said.

``It is raining hard and the wind is very strong. It looks all white outside,'' Tomoko Sunagawa, an official of Okinawa Electric Power Co. said by phone from Naha.

Airlines canceled hundreds of flights, mainly those flying between Okinawa and Kyushu.

Heavy rain pouring at a rate of more than 2 inches an hour inundated Kyushu Friday morning, the Meteorological Agency said, with up to 20 inches expected by Saturday.