TOKYO (AP) - Japan is bracing for a dangerously powerful typhoon approaching its southern regions this weekend on the heels of an earlier storm that injured dozens of people in the country and on the Korean Peninsula.
Typhoon Haishen, or Sea God in Chinese, could bring nearly unprecedentedly severe rain, rough waves and high tides to Okinawa and Kyushu by early Sunday, Japan Meteorological Agency officials said.
Agency weather forecaster Yoshihisa Nakamoto, in a televised news conference, urged people in the typhoon’s path to take precautions and secure extra stocks of water, food and other necessities.
The typhoon was moving north in the Pacific Ocean at a speed of 15 kilometers (9 miles) per hour. By Sunday it is projected to have winds of up to 198 kph (122 mph).
Officials said Haishen is comparable to a September 1959 typhoon that killed more than 5,000 people in central Japan.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said the government is setting up a crisis response team and urged people to take precautions “to protect your own lives.”
He said water was being released from nine dams in Nagasaki, Kagoshima and other southwestern prefectures to lower the risk of flooding. More than 22,000 military troops, coast guard personnel, police and firefighters have been placed on standby.
Hundreds of residents of a cluster of southern islands were airlifted by military helicopters to Kagoshima city on the nearby main island as a precaution.
Typhoon Maysak hit the region earlier this week, injuring dozens of people, cutting power to thousands of homes and causing other damage. A search continued Friday for a livestock cargo ship carrying 43 crew members and 5,800 cows from New Zealand that capsized during the typhoon. Rescuers have found only two survivors.
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