Japan prepares for ‘very dangerous’ Typhoon Nanmadol

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Tokyo (AFP) – Japan’s meteorological agency on Saturday warned of a “very dangerous” typhoon heading for the southern island of Kyushu, urging residents to evacuate before strong winds hit the area.

Typhoon Nanmadol was carrying gusts up to 270 kilometers on Saturday near the remote island of Minami Daito, 400 kilometers (250 miles) east of Okinawa Island, the weather agency said.

The storm is expected to approach or make landfall in southern Kagoshima prefecture in Kyushu on Sunday, then move north the next day before heading for the main island of Japan.

“There are risks of unprecedented storms, high waves, storm surges and record rainfall,” Ryuta Kurora, head of the Japan Meteorological Agency’s forecast unit, told reporters.

“The utmost caution is required,” he said, urging residents to evacuate early.

“It’s a very dangerous typhoon.”

Kurora said the weather agency would likely issue the highest alert for Kagoshima later that evening.

“The wind will be so strong that some houses could collapse,” he said, also warning of floods and landslides.

Japan is currently in typhoon season and is hit by around 20 such storms a year, regularly bringing heavy rains that cause landslides or flash floods.

Scientists say climate change is increasing the severity of storms and making extreme weather events such as heat waves, droughts and flash floods more frequent and intense.

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