Typhoon Halong: Kills 9, Evacuates 1 Million in Japan; Heads to Russia
By Esther Tanquintic-Misa | August 11, 2014 11:09 AM EST
At least nine people were killed and over one million others were forced to evacuate their homes after powerful Typhoon Halong blasted Japan over the weekend. The system is now on its way to Russia's Far East, expected to make landfall by Monday evening.
An ice cream vendor cycles past a huge fallen tree after an onslaught of Typhoon Rammasun, (locally named Glenda) in Batangas city south of Manila, July 17, 2014.
Reports from Japan's public television station NHK said around 52 people were injured.
Around 500,000 from two towns in the Mie prefecture, west of Tokyo, were ordered to evacuate their homes and move to safer ground. Evacuation advisories were issued to 1.5 million people in total, NHK added.
Among the dead included were a woman found floating in a river on Sunday in Takamatu, Kagawa Prefecture and a man swept away in a river the previous day in Gifu Prefecture.
A surfer in the meantime has been reported missing at a beach in Wakayama Prefecture.
"According to a witness, a man in a wetsuit was seen drifting about 30 metres offshore and then disappeared," a local police spokesman.
Kyodo News said over 320 flights were cancelled, while bullet train services on the Tokaido and Sanyo Shinkansen lines were partially suspended.
On the Tokyo-Osaka bullet train section, 145 train services were affected and got delayed Sunday, affecting 71,000 passengers.
Halong made two landfalls over Shikoku Island and Hyogo prefecture in western Japan. It continues to move northwards, creating torrential rain and 110 mph winds in the Mie prefecture to the west of Tokyo.
The Japan Meteorological Agency expects it to move away from the Japanese archipelago on Sunday.
Meantime, authorities in Russia have warned residents in Primorye to brace for Halong. The country's Emergency Situations Ministry had specifically ordered to forego outdoor pursuits such as fishing and hunting until the storm passes.
In a warning issued Saturday, the ministry cautioned Primorye residents to expect flooding, power outages and other material damage.
The amount of rainfall expected could reach up to 120 millimetres of rainfall and it could inundate the region in less than 12 hours.
The water levels of the rivers in the region could rise by at least half a metre.
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