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Flights Suspended as Typhoon Near to SW Japan
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A powerful typhoon is expected to make landfall on Japan's southwestern islands of Kyushu and Shikoku later on Thursday, the Japan Meteorological Agency said, urging public caution.


Typhoon Usagi, the season's fifth one, was located around 70 kilometers southeast of the city of Miyazaki, Miyazaki prefecture, as of 2:50 p.m. local time (0550 GMT), advancing northwest at 30 km per hour.


According to Kyodo News, three people were seriously injured in Miyazaki prefecture, where strong winds have already been blowing in some areas. A total of 166 flights to and from Miyazaki, Kagoshima and other cities in the region have been suspended due to the serene weather.


Besides, in some areas of Miyazaki prefecture, blackouts affected roughly 4,400 households.


The agency said that Usagi was packing winds of up to 170 kph and had an atmospheric pressure of 960 hecto-pascals at its center.


Heavier rains are expected in an extended area across eastern and western Japan due to humid air around the typhoon.


According to the agency, during a 24-hour period through Friday morning, rainfall of up to 400 millimeters is expected on the Pacific side of Shikoku, 350 mm in northern Kyushu, 250 mm in southern Kyushu, 200 mm on the Seto Inland Sea side of Shikoku and the southern Kinki and Tokai regions, and 130 mm in the Chugoku region.


(Xinhua News Agency August 3, 2007)


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