Typhoon Ma hits Japanese coastline

TYPHOON Ma hit Japan early thismorning, injuring dozens as it crossed the southern part of Tokushima prefecture on Shikoku, Kyodo News reported.

Torrential rain and lashing winds from the typhoon injured at least 47 people in 15 prefectures, while another person was reported missing and public transportation was disrupted, Kyodo News reported.

In Okayama prefecture, a man collapsed and fell unconscious during the storm, while in Kochi prefecture, an 84-year-old man went missing after going to check on a boat.

Powerful winds also overturned a truck on the Seto-Chuo Expressway, with the driver suffering slight injuries, police told Kyodo,

Stars and Stripes reported that the typhoon had been downgraded to a tropical storm by the US Navy’s Joint Typhoon Warning Center.

But as of 8:30am local time today, as the typhoon moved north-northeast, it was still packing winds of up to 120kph near its centre, the Japan Meteorological Agency said.

The agency had previously warned that northeastern Japan, already devastated by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, and the Hokuriku region facing the Sea of Japan could also experience heavy rain as the typhoon moves forward.

In preparation, Tokyo Electric Power Company workers installed a temporary cover over a building at its crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant to shield it from wind and rain, the Japan Times reported.

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