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article imageSupertyphoon Neoguri targets Japan

By Chikako Uchinami     Jul 4, 2014 in World
Tokyo - As the United States eastern seaboard recovers from July 4th's Hurricane Arthur, Pacific Supertyphoon Neoguri has Japan in its sights, reports from the Japan Meteorological Agency say.
Supertyphoon Neoguri is tracking northwest towards Japan, according to spokesmen at JMA.
Low wind shear and high sea surface temperatures made Neoguri's Supertyphoon status a grim reality Monday, meteorologists in Tokyo are reporting. The US Navy's Joint Typhoon Warning Center forecasted Neoguri to approach Category 5 status by Monday.
Neoguri is predicted to track north as it nears Okinawa and the Ryukyu Islands. The Supertyphoon is then expected to aim for Kyushu on Japan's southwest mainland, bringing very high winds and flooding.
Violent weather has rocked both the Pacific and Atlantic Ocean over this July 4th weekend, as the northern hemisphere's annual tropical storm season kicks in.
On Monday, Disaster Management Minister Keiji Furuya called on municipalities to issue evacuation advisories early. Japan Meteorological Agency bulletins advise preparation for potential mudslides, rising rivers and floods.
Storm chaser Josh Morgerman reporting from the tiny Japanese island of Kumejima says that conditions are rapidly becoming worse. He can "feel the building trembling" from the supertyphoon's aggressive assault.
Links and Updates
satellite imagery
area weather radar
live webcam from Okinawa
Prime Minister's Office news release
view from the International Space Station
Webcam at Kumamoto Airport
Neoguri has reached Okinawa.
Authorities have issued evacuation advisories to 480,000 people in 8 municipalities including 55,000 residents in the city of Miyakojima and 138,000 residents of the city of Okinawa, telling them to seek shelter at designated evacuation facilities or remain inside structures that can withstand strong winds.
From Kadena AFB's Facebook page:
"I can't stress enough how dangerous this typhoon may be when it hits Okinawa. This is the most powerful typhoon forecast to hit the island in 15 years. If we all follow typhoon procedures and take care of each other, we will all make it through this safely."~ via Brigadier General James Hecker, Commander 18th Wing
Excellent disaster response and infrastructure planning have minimized injury and loss of life in the Ryukyus. Forecasters expect the typhoon to weaken, but it may regain super-status as it heads north.
Neoguri is expected to weaken to a minimal typhoon or a tropical storm by the time it reaches the main islands of Kyushu, Shikoku and Honshu Wednesday night. Very heavy rain is expected. Rain from an unrelated system has been drenching Kyushu. Nagasaki recorded the heaviest rainfall in 50 years Thursday, with flash flooding and landslides. 10 inches of rain fell Sunday at Mount Shibi in Kagoshima Prefecture.
Typhoon Neoguri is now moving north off Kyushu, bringing heavy rain and strong winds. The typhoon knocked out electricity to 60,000 households.
Neoguri has been downgraded from typhoon to "Severe Tropical Storm." It is still packing strong winds and heavy rain.
Neoguri made landfall at Akune City, Kagoshima Prefecture, in Japan's southern island of Kyushu on Thursday morning.
Latest Update
NHK reports that evacuation advisories have been issued for 42,000 households, and 8,000 households are without power. Officials ask the public to be alert for further landslides and flooding. Neoguri is moving East-northeast at 30 kph with maximum winds of 90 kilometers per hour. Hokkaido will receive up to 180 millimeters of rain by Friday evening. The storm has now reached Tokyo.
(7:51:57 AM JST Friday, July 11, 2014)
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