TOKYO: High winds hit power lines in Japan’s Okinawa and knocked out electricity to more than 200,000 households on Wednesday (Aug 2) morning, as powerful and slow-moving Typhoon Khanun neared the country’s southwestern islands threatening torrential rains.
Hundreds of thousands of people in the tropical prefecture, a popular tourist destination about 1,600km southwest of Japan’s capital Tokyo, were advised to evacuate as the storm moved northwest at speed of 10 kmh, according to the Japan Meteorological Agency.
Local utility Okinawa Electric Power said 218,260 households, or 34 per cent of all houses covered, were experiencing power outages as of 9am Japan time, according to its website.
In Okinawa’s capital city Naha, the airport was entirely closed for a second day on Wednesday. More than 400 flights were already cancelled as of morning with at least 65,000 passengers affected, according to public broadcaster NHK.
The storm is hitting during the peak summer tourist season, which this year has seen the number of visitors return to pre-pandemic levels. Okinawa is frequently hit by typhoons, but usually later in the year.