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SHAKE AND BLOW
One dead as powerful typhoon cuts across Japan
by Staff Writers
Tokyo (AFP) June 19, 2012


One man was killed as a powerful typhoon bringing heavy rain and strong winds cut across Japan's main island Honshu overnight Tuesday to Wednesday, the weather agency and national media said.

Some fifty people were injured and over 400 flights were cancelled, while road and rail transport was badly affected.

Authorities issued evacuation orders for more than 150,000 people in central, eastern and northeastern Japan, Kyodo News said, with warnings of dangerous landslides from the heavy rain.

In Shizuoka province in the southeast, one man died after a shed collapsed over him, while 52 people were injured in some fifteen provinces, the national broadcaster NHK said at 4:00 am (1900 GMT Tuesday).

As typhoon Guchol -- "turmeric" in a Micronesian language -- crossed north of Tokyo overnight Tuesday, winds of up to 125 kilometres (78 miles) per hour were recorded.

By Wednesday at 5:30 am (2030 GMT Tuesday), the strongest winds had died down in the capital and the situation was progressively improving in the northeast.

The typhoon -- the first tropical storm to make a landfall on Japan this year, and the first since 2004 to do so as early as June -- was now several dozen kilometres from the coast of Sendai.

Airlines have cancelled 452 domestic and international flights so far, affecting 35,000 passengers, while travel on regional and high-speed trains has been hit with delays and cancellations, and some roads have also been closed.

A fifth typhoon, named Talim, is following a different path in the South China Sea but is also expected to reach the Japanese archipelago on Friday.

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