Severe Tropical Storm Tapah Hits Japan

Severe tropical storm Tapah hits Japan

Strong winds and heavy rain are battering parts of southwestern Japan as the severe tropical storm Tapah approaches. The storm is expected to affect most regions of the country through Monday.

The Meteorological Agency says Tapah will likely keep heading north-east, approaching northern Kyushu and the Chugoku region before heading out to the Sea of Japan.

Weather officials say the heaviest rainfall in half a century hit parts of Tsushima City in Nagasaki Prefecture. They are warning of violent winds, high waves, mudslides, swollen rivers and flooding.

Kyushu Electric Power Company says more than 70,000 households in the prefecture were without power as of Sunday night.

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 shattered in some areas of the city. Officials say two people have been injured.

The storm forced the cancelation of about 500 domestic flights on Sunday, and airlines have already suspended some flights scheduled for Monday. They say passengers should check their websites for updates.