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Haishen Typhoon

Typhoon Haishen: 200,000 ordered to evacuate as Japan braces for storm – BBC News

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Media captionJapan braces for Typhoon Haishen

As many as eight million people have been asked to evacuate areas of Japan threatened by an approaching storm.

Typhoon Haishen is expected to intensify in the coming hours, bringing heavy rain, storm surges and winds of more than 100mph (160km/h).

On the south-western Kyushu island, at least 142,000 households have already been left without power.

The typhoon will move past Kyushu later on and is expected to make landfall on Monday in South Korea.

The country has raised its typhoon warning to the highest level.

Haishen comes days after Maysak, one of the region’s strongest typhoons in years.

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Residents in coastal areas of south-western Japan have been bracing for the typhoon

Haishen has led to the closure of factories, schools and businesses across western Japan. Hundreds of flights and train services have also been cancelled.

Japan’s weather agency urged residents to exercise their “most serious caution” for possible record rains and high waves along the coast.

Yoshihisa Nakamoto, director of the agency’s forecast division, told reporters that surging tides may also cause flooding in low-lying areas, particularly around river mouths.

As a result of the storm, millions of people have been advised to move to designated shelters in places like schools and community centres.

But local media report that some people have chosen to seek safety in local hotels to reduce the risk of coronavirus spreading in crowded public shelters.

In South Korea, the Central Disaster and Safety Countermeasure Headquarters raised the country’s typhoon warning level to four – the highest – at 19:00 (10:00 GMT) on Sunday.

The Korea Forest Service also raised the landslide alert to its highest level.

Its chief, Park Chong-ho, told Yonhap news agency: “Huge damage is expected as the typhoon this time is forecast to be more dangerous than the previous ones that affected South Korea shortly after the end of the monsoon season.”

Typhoon Haishen is forecast to move close to Busan on Monday morning.

The typhoon has also forced Japan’s coast guard to suspend its search for missing sailors from a cargo ship that sank during Typhoon Maysak.

The Gulf Livestock 1 was carrying 43 crew members and 6,000 cows when it went missing on Wednesday.

Three crew members were rescued alive.

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Typhoon Vongfong

Typhoon Vongfong Makes Landfall in the Philippines – The New York Times

The powerful storm is on a path toward hitting Luzon, the country’s largest and most populous island, on Saturday.

Credit…Alren Beronio/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

MANILA — A typhoon packing winds of nearly 100 miles per hour made landfall in the eastern Philippines on Thursday after gathering strength as it swept across the Pacific Ocean, the state weather bureau said.

Typhoon Vongfong was traveling slowly westward at about 10 m.p.h. when it made landfall at 12:15 in the province of Northern Samar in the eastern Philippines, according to the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration.

Forecasters predicted that it could dump torrential rains by Saturday across a wide area of the Philippines, including possibly Luzon, the country’s largest island, which has a population of 60 million and includes the capital, Manila.

Much of Luzon remains on lockdown because of the coronavirus epidemic, which could complicate emergency efforts should the storm strike the island with particular force.

“Definitely this is going to add to our emergency situation,” said Harry Roque, a spokesman for President Rodrigo Duterte. “While the areas expected to be hit by the typhoon are not heavily ravaged by Covid-19, we have set some guidelines.”

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Credit…National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration/EPA, via Shutterstock

He said that any families taken to evacuation areas would have to observe strict social distancing guidelines. But judging from evacuations during previous typhoons, he conceded that “enforcing that would be a challenge.”

The country’s civil defense office said the storm could cause some damage to houses made of light materials, and it advised those living along shorelines to move to evacuation shelters.

Weather officials said the storm was gathering force on Thursday. The place where it made landfall, San Policarpo, is a city of more than 14,000 people on the northeast of the island of Samar. There were no immediate reports of deaths or injuries.

“Along with large swells, this storm surge may cause potentially life-threatening coastal inundation,” Pagasa, the weather agency, said in an advisory Thursday morning.

The Philippines sits in a typhoon belt, and at least 20 storms — some of them deadly — typically ravage the country every year.

In 2003, more than 6,000 people were killed when Super Typhoon Haiyan caused widespread devastation, mostly in the central city of Tacloban, which was inundated by massive tidal swells.

The name of the storm, Vongfong, is derived from the term for wasp in Cantonese.

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Credit…Aaron Favila/Associated Press

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