Japanese authorities have advised of evacuation for more than 100,000 households in the prefectures of Okinawa, Kagoshima, Kumamoto, and Nagasaki as Typhoon Haishen approaches on Sunday, September 6. A spokesperson for the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) stated that record-high winds and waves are expected in areas that the typhoon is forecast to pass through. In the latest JMA advisory as of 12:00 (local time), the center of the storm was near Yakushima island, 150 km (90 mi) south of Kagoshima, moving north-northwest at 35 kph (20 mph). Maximum sustained winds of 162 kph (100 mph) have been recorded, making Haishen equivalent to a category 2 hurricane.
More than 500 flights from Okinawa and southern Japan have been canceled, and power has been cut to more than 11,000 homes in Okinawa and Amami Oshima. Social media reports indicate that localized flooding has occurred in Japan's southern islands. Two injuries have been reported.
Strong winds, heavy rainfall, and associated flooding and landslides are expected in southern Japan over the coming days. Disruption to transportation, business, and utilities is likely.
The typhoon season lasts from May to October, whilst most storm systems form between July and September. In general, storms can bring heavy downpours and strong winds as well as trigger storm surges that threaten human populations and infrastructure. Secondary effects include riverine floods and landslides, both of which can result in human casualties and mass evacuations, as well as travel and service disruptions. Although storm systems usually affect southern Japan, other parts of the country are also vulnerable to these hazards.
Those in the affected areas are advised to monitor local weather reports, avoid areas directly affected by flooding, confirm road conditions before setting out, and adhere to instructions issued by local authorities.
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