NAHA – A weakened Tropical Storm Mawar brought heavy rains to Japan’s main southern islands on Friday after passing through the Okinawa archipelago, injuring several people.
Residents in vulnerable areas have been warned of possible flooding and mudslides and dozens of local flights have been canceled for the day. Strong winds continued on Okinawa and eight people were injured. An elderly woman who fell in the city of Nishihara sustained a serious head injury, but the other injuries were minor.
Formerly a super typhoon, Mawar blew with winds of up to 90 km/h as it moved east of Okinoerabujima across the Pacific Ocean, the Japan Meteorological Agency said.
While wind damage was limited in Okinawa, the tropical storm’s warm and humid air amplified seasonal rains and threatened flooding and mudslides, the weather bureau said.
Up to 35 centimeters (1.1 feet) of rain has been forecast for the next 24 hours through Saturday morning. The agency issued warnings of flooding and mudslides in parts of southwestern Japan and urged residents near rivers and mountainsides to exercise caution.
Mawar largely bypassed Taiwan and the Philippines after crossing Guam last week. It sent waves against Taiwan’s east coast and caused heavy rains in the north of the Philippines, but no major damage was reported.
Japan had stationed a number of PAC-3 land-to-air interceptors on southern islands for a North Korean missile launch, but some of these were left on base and not deployed in their intended locations due to safety precautions ahead of the typhoon. A launch on Wednesday failed, but North Korea wants to try again.
The US military, whose troops are stationed at several facilities on Okinawa, followed the storm closely.
Mawar hit Guam last week as the strongest typhoon to hit the US Pacific region in more than two decades. As of Wednesday, only 28% of power had been restored and about half of the water system was operational, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
There have been long queues for gas supplies and officials estimate it will take four to six weeks for power to be fully restored. FEMA did not yet know exactly how many houses were destroyed.
AP Tokyo-based journalist Mari Yamaguchi contributed to this report.
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Source of the post: News 4jax
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