Typhoon Haishen batters southern Japan

Typhoon Haishen batters southern Japan
High waves pound the coast of Kagoshima city on the island of Kyushu in south-western Japan (Kyodo News/AP)

The second powerful typhoon to batter Japan in a week unleashed fierce winds and rain on southern islands on Sunday.

Typhoon Haishen blew off rooftops and left homes without power as it edged north into an area vulnerable to flooding and mudslides.

Weather officials warned of heavy rainfall from what could be a record storm. Warnings have been issued, days in advance, for people to be ready to take shelter and stock up on food and water.

Several rivers on the main south-western island of Kyushu were at risk of flooding, officials said.

The windows of a hotel are taped up in preparation for approaching Typhoon Haishen in Kagoshima city, south-western Japan (Takuto Kaneko/Kyodo News/AP)

The Japan Meteorological Agency said Haishen, which means “sea god” in Chinese, was packing sustained winds of up to 112mph as it battered Okinawa and the southern Kyushu island of Amami Oshima early on Sunday.

Haishen was not only powerful – equivalent to a Category 3 hurricane – but also large in its reach in areas affected, according to the agency.

Haishen’s course is similar to Typhoon Maysak which lashed southern Japan last week, injuring dozens of people and cutting power to thousands of homes.

A cargo ship carrying 43 crew members and 5,800 cows from New Zealand capsized off the coast of Japan. Two people were rescued, and one body recovered. The search has been halted because of Haishen.

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