Typhoon Man-yi heads for Chubu - ( J44P44NN )

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Typhoon Man-yi advanced toward central Japan on Sunday, bringing heavy rains as officials warned of floods and strong winds, the Meteorological Agency said.

The season’s 18th storm, swirling in Pacific waters south of the archipelago, was packing gusts up to 108 kph and moving north-northwest, the agency said.

It was on a direct course to hit Monday morning, possibly around 9 a.m. in Shizuoka Prefecture, the agency said.

The typhoon was then expected to head northeast toward the capital and surrounding areas, according to projections.

In the 24 hours until Monday evening, 500 mm of rain is expected in the Kanto, Tokai and Kinki regions, 400 mm in Tohoku and 250 mm in Hokuriku and Shikoku.

Man-yi might also inundate Fukushima, where utility crews are struggling to contain highly radioactive water leaking from and flowing under the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant and into the Pacific Ocean at an estimated rate of 300 tons a day.

The agency issued flood, mudslide and heavy rain and wave warnings for areas along the Pacific coast.

“Please keep yourselves updated on the latest weather information and, if necessary, evacuate before the weather gets really rough,” senior weather forecaster Hiroyuki Uchida said.

Coastal areas have already received a pounding.

In Kushimoto, Wakayama Prefecture, strong winds ripped roof tiles off houses Sunday morning that slightly injured two women, local police said.

Later in the day, some 2,900 residents from 1,400 households were advised to evacuate in Nachikatsuura, Wakayama Prefecture, after torrential rains lashed the Pacific town.

Meanwhile, 71.5 mm of rain an hour was logged in Ebina, Kanagawa Prefecture, suspending the Tokaido Shinkansen Line between Shinyokohama and Odawara stations.

In nearby Chigasaki, a 44-year-old surfer drowned at the venue where a surfing competition was planned for Sunday, local police said.

Satoshi Tabara, a bus driver from the western Tokyo suburb of Tachikawa, arrived at the beach early in the morning but was told by the event organizer that the contest had been cancelled because of the storm.

He went surfing anyway, the police said.