Typhoon Halong rips through western Japan

August 11, 2014 - 12:00:00 am

TOKYO: Typhoon Halong slammed into western Japan yesterday, making landfall on the main Honshu island as the weather agency issued its highest alert.

The strong typhoon hit Japan’s largest and most populous island at around 10am (0100 GMT) near the city of Ako on the southwest coast, the Japan Meteorological Agency said. Packing winds of up to 162 kilometres per hour, the typhoon barrelled in to the smaller western island of Shikoku earlier yesterday, with huge waves battering the coast.

On Honshu, the weather agency maintained its highest warning — meaning a threat to life and the risk of massive damage — for Mie prefecture, some 300km west of Tokyo, warning that “unprecedented” torrential rain in the area could trigger massive landslides or major floods.

Storms and torrential rain earlier this week left one dead and 25 injured, Japan’s public broadcaster NHK said.

Local authorities, mainly in western Japan, issued evacuation advisories to more than 1.6 million people in total, while a wide area on Shikoku island was submerged, NHK said.

At least 143 flights were to be cancelled on Sunday due to the typhoon, which came just as Japan began its annual “Obon” summer holiday, NHK said. On Saturday some 470 flights were grounded.

18 suspects ‘surrender’ over attack in Xinjiang

BEIJING: Eighteen suspects have “surrendered” to police investigating an attack which led to almost 100 deaths in China’s Xinjiang region, home to the mainly Muslim Uighur minority, state media said yesterday.

A total of 37 civilians and 59 “terrorists” were killed in an attack on a police station and government offices on July 28 in the far western region’s Shache county, or Yarkand in the Uighur language, according to earlier reports. It was the latest in a series of violent incidents over recent months in and connected with the vast, resource-rich region.

The toll made it the bloodiest since rioting involving Uighurs and members of China’s Han majority left around 200 people dead in the regional capital Urumqi in 2009.