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Typhoon 'Neoguri' takes aim at Japan, emergency warnings issued


(Reuters) - Japan's weather agency on Monday issued emergency warnings to urge people in the country's southern islands to take maximum precautions as a super typhoon described as a "once in decades storm" is set to rake the Okinawa island chain with heavy rain and powerful winds.

Typhoon Neoguri was already gusting at more than 250 km an hour (150 mph) and may pick up still more power as it moves northwest, growing into an "extremely intense" storm by Tuesday, the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) said.

But it was not expected to be as strong as Typhoon Haiyan, which killed thousands in the Philippines last year.

The JMA issued emergency storm and high sea warnings for Japan's small southern island of Miyakojima, some 300 km (188 miles) southwest of Okinawa island, and for a smaller nearby islet.

The agency said on Monday evening it also planned to issue an emergency high sea warning for Okinawa island, host to three-quarters of U.S. military facilities in Japan.

"In these regions, there is a chance of the kinds of storms, high seas, storm surges and heavy rains that you've never experienced before," a JMA official told a news conference.

"This is an extraordinary situation, where a grave danger is approaching."

The storm was south of Okinawa but moving northwest at 25 kph (16 mph) with sustained winds of 180 kph (110 mph) by 7:00 p.m. (1000 GMT), the JMA said on its web site.

The JMA official urged people in the target areas to evacuate early and take precautions. Television showed fishermen winching their boats out of the water.

There are no nuclear plants on Okinawa, but there are two on Kyushu, Japan's westernmost main island that lies in the area through which the typhoon is likely to pass, and one on Shikoku island, which borders Kyushu and could also be affected.

All are halted in line with current national policy. A spokeswoman at Kyushu Electric Power Co said there were no specific plans related to this typhoon but the company had plans in place year-round to protect the plants from severe weather.

The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, crippled by an earthquake and tsunami in 2011, is on the other side of the country, which is likely to see rain, at the worst.

Keiji Furuya, state minister in charge of Disaster Management, cancelled a planned trip to the United States.

The commander at Kadena Air Base, one of the largest U.S. military establishments on Okinawa, warned that damaging winds were expected by early Tuesday.

"I can't stress enough how dangerous this typhoon may be when it hits Okinawa," Brigadier General James Hecker wrote on the base's Facebook page on Sunday. "This is not just another typhoon."

Around two to four typhoons a year make landfall in Japan but they are unusual in July.

Super Typhoon Neoguri Strongest of the Season

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1000|Char. 1000  Char.
addresses2me July 07 2014 at 12:11 PM

These poor people just suffered the tsunami and are just getting over that and now this. I live in Florida and although we have had our share of sever storms, I can't imagine what they are going through waiting for another hit from mother nature. I hope they get out in time this time.

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4 replies
gonewthefish July 07 2014 at 3:55 PM

I wonder what affect this super typhoon will have on Funkishmo nuclear site that is STILL Pouring nuclear radition into the ocean at rate of several hundred tons a day? Thats on the verge of complete melt down in 7-8 days? I wonder why the white house doesnt metion this at all.. just saying the typoon is going to mess everything up..

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4 replies
endmillll July 07 2014 at 12:08 PM

Its sad japan is going through hell..

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2 replies
grgrytckr endmillll July 07 2014 at 3:35 PM

Not really.

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oldasu endmillll July 07 2014 at 7:15 PM

they reap what they sow

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2 replies
ds3inc oldasu July 07 2014 at 8:54 PM

What are they sowing that reaps natural disasters? enlighten us.

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Happypoolprune oldasu July 07 2014 at 10:07 PM

Why do you say that" Didnt we do enough damage to end WW2?

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m4christ2 July 07 2014 at 12:28 PM

the bible says in the last days the earth will travail, like labor pains. getting more frequent and closer together. i think Jesus is soon to return, but first, the antichrist has to be revealed....

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5 replies
jmccand779 July 07 2014 at 12:33 PM

This one could end up landing as a cat 4 or 5, I wouldn't want ot be in their shoes. I was in a cat 3 and that was plenty enough for me and just enough to be on the safe side of what could been mass destruction.

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flyingfortresb17 July 07 2014 at 3:23 PM

Time to get the air force equipment into the air and up to the mainland or to Guam.

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1 reply
gramargo flyingfortresb17 July 08 2014 at 2:36 AM

They probably did that as soon as it looked as if Okinawa would be hit hard. The Air Force has gone through this kind of thing often enough to plan well ahead.

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Mike July 07 2014 at 4:33 PM

Great...another excuse for Japan to dump its trash in the ocean.

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dewlady357 July 07 2014 at 12:10 PM

Mother Nature has the worst case of PMS anyone has EVER seen in recent months. Snow, sleet, hail, earthquakes, rain rain rain and MORE. It keeps resonating in my ears..."Jesus is coming and BOY is he pissed." Just sayin'

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3 replies
oldasu July 07 2014 at 7:14 PM

Wow.. now maybe they will be too busy to kill whales and pollute the earth with radiation from the fuch reactor....

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1 reply
donahuepapad123 oldasu July 07 2014 at 8:52 PM


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Al Mallozzi July 07 2014 at 3:07 PM

I was in the Southern Part of Okinawa in 1950 - 1952, (Naha). Its all flat along the coast, but rocky inland. The natives used to position their homes in a way that hi winds would just glide over them. They would be furroud in a pattern somewhat like a "maize", minimizing the damage. In the meanwhile our quonset huts were demolshed because we were level with the sea. They moved us into the few permanent barracks buildings. I also saw a good sized vessel picked out of the sea and actually flying through the air. Up in Kadena, 60 miles away there are high cliffs buffing the winds, permanent buildings of steel and concrete buffiting the winds and holding back the sea. Wherever you are on Okie its bad when a "ty" hits. Safest place is in the villages with the Okinawans, or the caves. AlMallozzi, write al2951@aol.com

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2 replies
oldasu Al Mallozzi July 07 2014 at 7:16 PM

Its all about you..

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gmgpjandon Al Mallozzi July 07 2014 at 8:10 PM

Remember what the natives called them in English Tyhoons.

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