Typhoon Chanthu pounds northern Japan

Typhoon Chanthu lashed the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido Wednesday, with weather authorities warning of flooding, mudslides, high waves and swollen rivers in the region.

The typhoon, accompanied by gales and heavy rains, made landfall on Cape Erimo on Hokkaido at around 5:30 pm (0830 GMT), the Japan Meteorological Agency said.

It is rare for a typhoon to strike the northern island directly as western and southern Japan are the regions usually hit by typhoons during summer and autumn months.

Before moving to Hokkaido, the storm brought torrential rains and strong winds to north-eastern Japan, prompting local authorities to issue an evacuation order to more than 6,000 residents in Otsuchi town in Iwate prefecture.

The seventh typhoon of this season caused the cancellation of more than dozens of flights, bullet trains and more than 200 train services in the north-east and Hokkaido, local media reported.

As of 6 pm (0900 GMT), Typhoon Chanthu was 70 kilometres south of the city of Obihiro, travelling north at 60 kilometres per hour (kph), carrying maximum sustained winds of 108 kph and gusts of 144 kph, the agency said.

The typhoon is expected to weaken to a depression over the Sea of Okhotsk Thursday.

Last update: Wed, 17/08/2016 - 17:43

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