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Powerful typhoon lashes Japan, thousands evacuate

Typhoon Man-yi, one of the worst storms to lash Japan this season, was packing wind speeds of 162 kilometers (100 miles) per hour at midday and headed toward Japan\'s capital region.

Published: 16th September 2013 12:53 PM  |   Last Updated: 16th September 2013 12:54 PM   |  A+A-

Typhoon Japan1

A powerful typhoon was bearing down on Japan and headed toward Tokyo on Monday, dumping torrential rains, damaging homes and flooding parts of the country's popular tourist destination of Kyoto, where 260,000 people were ordered to evacuate to shelters.

Dozens were injured and public broadcaster NHK said four people were missing.

Typhoon Man-yi, one of the worst storms to lash Japan this season, was packing wind speeds of 162 kilometers (100 miles) per hour at midday and headed toward Japan's capital region.

The government has set up an emergency task force to assess damage and support rescue effort, said Prime Minister's Office official Hikariko Ono. Kyoto and neighboring Shiga prefecture have asked the Defense Ministry to mobilize relief teams.

NHK said at least four people were missing and 48 people were injured in 16 western and central prefectures since Sunday, citing its own tally. Among them were two women in their 70s when a mudslide hit their respective houses in Shiga and Fukui in western Japan. A man fell into a swollen river when he went to check fish traps in Fukushima prefecture.

More than 700 homes were flooded across the western and central Japan, NHK said.

As the typhoon traveled eastward, trains in Tokyo and its vicinity were largely suspended and hundreds of flights were grounded.

The storm dumped an "unprecedented amount of rainfall" in Kyoto and two of its neighboring prefectures it passed overnight, dumping as much as 8 centimeters (3 inches) per hour, the Meteorological Agency said. The agency lifted a "special warning" for the area was earlier Monday but urged residents to stay alert.

In Kyoto, where the city's major Katsura River flooded, some 260,000 people were told to evacuate. NHK showed tourists in Kyoto being taken to safety on boats on a flooded riverside street, towed by rescue workers.

Hundreds of thousands of others were also ordered to evacuate in western Japan. About 80,000 houses were without electricity in western and central Japan.

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