500,000 evacuated and nuclear power plants shutdown as mega-storm hits Japan
Tuesday, 08 July 2014 - 12:15
More than 500,000 people have been told to evacuate and nuclear power plants have been shut down as a powerful typhoon heads to japan.
Hundreds of flights have been cancelled as torrential rain and ferocious winds batter the southwestern islands as the storm makes its way to Tokyo.
Typhoon Neoguri weakened from its original status as a super typhoon but remained intense, with gusts of more than 155 mph.
It was powering towards the Okinawa island chain where emergency rain and high-seas warnings were in effect.
The storm will be at its most powerful as it passes Okinawa, 1,000 miles southwest of Tokyo on Tuesday, but the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) warned of heavy rains and potential flooding in Kyushu, the westernmost of Japan's main islands, as well as heavy rain in the rest of the nation as the storm turns east.
"People must take the utmost caution," Keiji Furuya, state minister in charge of disaster management, told a news conference.
One man was missing after his boat was swamped by high waves, NHK national television said. Several people suffered minor injuries from falls.
More than 50,000 households in Okinawa lost power and an oil refinery halted operations.