Severe Tropical Storm Tapah Batters Japan

Severe tropical storm Tapah batters Japan

Severe tropical storm Tapah is battering parts of western Japan as it moves northeast over the Sea of Japan. It is bringing strong winds and heavy rain to wide areas of Japan.

The Meteorological Agency says Tapah will likely bring strong winds and heavy rain to wide areas of Japan on Monday. It is warning of strong winds, mudslides, high waves, flooding and swollen rivers, as well as lightning strikes and sudden wind gusts.

Weather officials estimate that as of 7 a.m. on Monday, the storm was over waters 130 kilometers north of the city of Matsue in Shimane Prefecture. The storm was moving northeast at 50 kilometers per hour.

The storm is expected to become a depression and move northeast over the Sea of Japan. It is likely to approach northern Japan between Monday night and early Tuesday morning.

Weather officials say coastal areas along the Sea of Japan can expect extremely strong winds and rough marine conditions through late Monday night.

They also say the Pacific coasts of eastern Japan and northern regions can expect downpours accompanied by thunder through late Monday.

Tornado-like winds caused damage in the city of Nobeoka in Miyazaki Prefecture. Railway operator JR Kyushu says a steel tower at Nobeoka Station toppled over. Windows were reportedly broken in the city.

Officials say two people have been injured.

Power companies say that as of early Monday, about 57,000 households in the Kyushu region, and about 9,200 households in Yamaguchi Prefecture were without power. Blackouts were also reported in parts of Hiroshima, Tottori and Okayama prefectures.

The storm forced the cancelation of about 500 domestic flights on Sunday. Airlines have already suspended 54 flights for Monday. They say passengers should check their websites for the latest updates.

West Japan Railway Company says bullet trains on the Sanyo Shinkansen line will operate normally on Monday.

The company is calling on passengers to check the latest information, saying winds and rain could affect its services.