Powerful storm hits central and western Japan; 20 people injured

Typhoon Jongdari: Weather-ravaged Japan braces for powerful storm

Japan is facing a heavy typhoon Jongdari witch hits japan western area and several regions are divested by flood and over rainfall. It was traveling northwest at 45 kilometers per hour, a faster speed than before.

Transportation has also been affected, with some Japan Airlines and All Nippon Airways flights connecting Tokyo to western Japan canceled. About 70 domestic flights were cancelled while global flights, including those leaving for Asian or North America destinations, have also been cancelled or delayed.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe warned that the storm could continue to bring heavy rain even after the epicentre had passed by.

It weakened after making landfall and was downgraded to a tropical storm, according to the agency, but many provinces stayed on alert.

The weather agency warned of heavy rain, landslides, strong winds and high waves, and urged people to consider early evacuation.

In an unusual route, the storm was expected to pass through the country's western regions, and likely reach the Kyushu region Sunday night.

The prefectures worst hit by flooding were Okayama, Hiroshima and Yamaguchi, in the Chugoku region, and more than 4,000 survivors are still living in temporary shelters there.

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But no injuries or damage due to Typhoon Jongdari were immediately reported in regions ravaged by flooding and landslides earlier this month, as local authorities had advised residents to evacuate early as a precaution. "I can't find a hotel room and the Shinkansen train tickets are also sold out", said an air passenger stranded by the typhoon.

An Okayama Prefecture official, Tadahiko Mizushima, said: "We are fully ready 24 hours a day to evacuate residents".

More than eight million people were ordered to leave their homes earlier in July when torrential rain saw rivers burst their banks, but some became trapped after failing to heed the order.

At least 80 people have been killed by the temperature, and more than 22,000 hospitalised with heat stroke.

"Although it has not rained here, we are urging people to evacuate before it gets dark", Masaharu Kataoka, a city official, told AFP.

Japan is now in typhoon season and is regularly hit by major storms during the summer and autumn.

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