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Strong typhoon makes landfall on Shikoku Island

Tokyo: A powerful typhoon made landfall today on Shikoku Island, leaving one person dead, two missing and forcing some 2,500 to evacuate in 14 prefectures in western to central Japan, the weather agency and local officials said.

Typhoon Talas also disrupted air traffic in western Japan, with 300 domestic and 17 international flights cancelled by 8:30 am, and caused blackouts in about 64,000 households in the Kinki region by 8 am, the airlines and Kansai Electric Power Co. said.

Central Japan Railway Co said it suspended bullet train services on the Tokaido Shinkansen Line between Gifu-Hashima and Maibara stations for about 8 minutes from around 6:55 am due to strong winds.

Because of the slow-moving nature of this year`s 12th typhoon, heavy rain and storms persist across a wide area of the archipelago, the Japan Meteorological Agency said, warning of mudslides and flooding.

It had caused injuries to at least 24 people by last night as it engulfed parts of the Shikoku and Kinki regions with storm winds, according to a Kyodo News tally of cases unveiled by firefighters.

As of 9 am, the typhoon, packing winds of up to 144 kilometers per hour near its center, was slowly moving northward near Aki, Kochi Prefecture on Shikoku, the agency said.

A women appearing to be in her 30s died after she was found in a river in Matsuyama, Ehime Prefecture around 6:20 am and taken to hospital in a state of cardiac arrest.

In Tokushima Prefecture, Sumako Sogabe, 75, was swept away by a swollen river in the early hours on her way to an evacuation center near her home in Miyoshi, and a man in his 80s also went missing after going outside to check the situation.

Rainfall of 74.5 millimeters per hour was measured in a town in Mie Prefecture, central Japan, and 63.0 mm in a town in Tottori, western Japan, the highest on record there for September.

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