Typhoon Khanun hit Japan’s southwestern Kagoshima and Okinawa prefectures for two straight days, causing heavy rain and gusty winds.
Khanun, which translates to “jackfruit” in Thai, brought sustained gusts of up to 235 kmph and winds of 162 kmph, killing two and injuring dozens of others. According to the Japan Metrological Agency, it’s no longer forecast to hit China.
In Okinawa, an elderly woman died after her house went up in flames; she was using candles at the time as the power had gone out due to the typhoon Another man in his 90s was crushed to death when a garage collapsed. The NHK public television said at least 60 additional people in Kagoshima and Okinawa prefectures sustained injuries.
According to Okinawa Electric Power, approximately 166,000 households in Okinawa- roughly one-quarter of the total population- have lost electricity due to knocked-down power lines.
The local airport, located in Okinawa’s capital city, also shut down for two days due to the typhoon, causing more than 300 flights to be canceled. They later resumed operations on Thursday.
According to officials, the storm is projected to make a sudden, sharp turn to the east side on Friday, after which it will head toward the main islands. This situation has been described as ‘unusual” as storms usually trend northwards after gradually moving to the east, which causes their power to weaken as surface and air and water temperatures go down.
For now, it’s still too early to determine whether the capital city of Tokyo will be affected.
Despite record-breaking temperatures in Japan, including the hottest July in history, seawater temperatures have remained normal.
In Kagoshima prefecture, approximately 6,550 households have lost electricity in the Amami Islands, according to Kyushu Electric Power.
Effects on Taiwan
Many businesses and schools in northern Taiwan shut down as the slow-moving typhoon moved past the northeast region amid warnings of high winds and floods. Dozens of flights were also canceled at the airport.
Typhoon Khanaun, which is categorized as the second-strongest typhoon level, by the national weather bureau, eventually moved toward the northeastern coast with winds of up to 198kmh. As of 1:15 p.m. local time, the eye of the typhoon was in the East China Sea, approximately 340km off Taipei, heading west at 3kmph.
On Thursday, the storm was expected to brush past the country’s northern coast before making a sharp turn to the northeast. Total rainfall is estimated to go up to 0.6m in central Taiwan and 0.3m in the mountainous areas near Taipei.
Northern cities including Taipei, the country’s capital, shut schools and businesses. The stock and foreign exchange markets also closed. Over 110 domestic and international flights have been canceled while all domestic ferries have been suspected due to the rain and wind conditions.
In Taipei, the typhoon also brought down dozens of trees and street signs. Local subway services were also reduced, with hundreds of soldiers on standby for potential disaster response.
More than 16,000 households also lost power across the country, though the majority have since been restored.