| 3 December 2023, Sunday |

Meandering Typhoon Khanun targets Japan again amid record heat

The Meteorological Agency (JMA) reported on Saturday that Typhoon Khanun was expected to make another approach to Japan’s southernmost Okinawa islands before turning north to hit the western main islands next week, pouring heavy rain over large areas as it meandered.

Temperatures reached 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees F), the highest this year in Japan, in the city of Date in the Fukushima prefecture, highlighting an increase in unusual weather blamed on climate change.

Khanun, which has killed three people and injured more than 70 in Okinawa prefecture, was about 100 km (60 miles) west of Kagoshima prefecture Tokuno Island at 5 p.m. (0800 GMT).

It has an atmospheric pressure of 970 hectopascals at its centre, blowing winds of 30 metres per second (70 miles per hour), with maximum gust of 45 metres per second (100 mph), according to the JMA.

Authorities remained on high alert for more heavy rain, high water and storm surges in the wake of the typhoon over the weekend, as Okinawa has already soaked up a massive amount of water, with damage to buildings.

Rainfall of 200 to 300 mm (8-12 inches) was expected over the next 18 hours in the Shikoku, Amami and southern Kyushu regions, while 50-100 millimetres was expected in Okinawa and 100-200 mm (4-8 inches) in the northern Kyushu and Kinki regions, the JMA said.

Footage on public broadcaster NHK showed a dozens of cars submerged and houses flooded in Naha, Okinawa’s capital.

For the coming 24 hours, rainfall of 200-300 mm was forecast for the Kyushu, Shikoku, Kinki and Tokai regions, while the Amami region was expected to get 100-200 mm.

  • Reuters