Japan issues highest flood alert as storm Sinlaku lashes Kyushu
Tropical Storm Sinlaku, which killed 12 people in Taiwan when it struck as a typhoon, brought torrential rain and strong winds to Kyushu in southern Japan, where authorities warned of flooding and landslides.
The Japan Meteorological Agency raised its highest alert for coastal areas of Kyushu, warning more than 80 millimeters (3.2 inches) of rain an hour may fall in some areas, triggering landslides on the mountainous island. Warnings were also issued for strong winds, high waves and a storm surge in southern Kyushu and islands to the south.
Sinlaku’s sustained winds strengthened to 111 kilometers (69 miles) per hour from 93 kph earlier today. The storm’s eye was over Yaku Island, famed for its primeval forests, 128 kilometers south of the city of Kagoshima on Kyushu at 2 p.m. local time.
Sinlaku was moving east-northeast at 20 kilometers per hour, with winds gusting to 157 kph. The storm’s center is forecast to pass to the south of Kyushu and Shikoku, the smallest of Japan’s four main islands, before approaching Tokyo on Sept. 20, according to the weather agency’s latest advisory.
More than 30 people were forced to evacuate their homes in Kagoshima prefecture due to flooding, national broadcaster NHK reported on its Web site. One house was damaged by a small landslide, it said.