As an intense typhoon batters southern Japan with torrential rain and gales, authorities have ordered millions people to evacuate their homes, according to local reports.
Public broadcaster NHK said local governments have now ordered more than eight million people in southern and western Japan to flee due to Typhoon Nanmadol, which has already triggered power blackouts and flight cancellations.
Officials issued the highest grade on Japan’s disaster warning scale – a level 5 alert – to more than 330,000 people in Kagoshima, Miyazaki and Oita prefectures, NHK said.
The level 4 alert that prompts the evacuation order for eight million people affects 3.7 million households in parts of the Kyushu, Shikoku and Chugoku regions.
Weather forecasters have warned of strong winds and high waves “like never experienced before”, with the threat of rivers overflowing, high waves, violent winds and landslides.
Typhoon Nanmadol, classified as a super typhoon by the US Navy’s Joint Typhoon Warning Center, has been slowly heading north to the country’s main southern island of Kyushu.
The Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) said the area faces being deluged by 500mm (20in) of rain and wind gusts of up to 155mph (250kph) on Sunday.
It also warned residents of “unprecedented” levels of powerful winds and waves in some areas, urging them to evacuate early.
Nanmadol is expected to turn east and reach Tokyo on Tuesday before moving out to sea.
In affected areas, thousands of residents have taken shelter at evacuation centres.
Kyushu Electric Power Company said more than 93,000 homes across the island were without electricity on Sunday because of damage to power lines.
Hundreds of domestic flights in and out of the region have been cancelled and more are planned to be grounded in western Japan until Tuesday.
Public transport, including rail services and buses, have also been suspended along with the famous bullet train.
Hundreds of shops have closed in the face of the extreme weather.
Courtesy of Sky News
Depth: 10 km
Distances: 84 km SSE of Laoag, Philippines / pop: 102,000 / local time: 08:43:23.9 2022-07-27
Six people, including two children, have been killed by a tornado that struck a state in the US.
The tornado ripped through Madison County, which is southwest of the state capital Des Moines, in Iowa, on Saturday, the Des Moines Register reported, citing local officials.
The heavy storms caused more than 10,500 people in Des Moines to lose power.
The National Weather Service added the tornado was an EF3, meaning that it swirled with winds of up to 206 miles per hour (332 kph).
The agency said on Twitter that the situation was “extremely dangerous”.
US reports initially indicated that two people had been killed when the tornado struck Winterset and nearby communities.
But Madison County emergency management director Diogenes Ayala later confirmed that four children and two adults had been killed when the twister hit around 4.30pm local time (10.30pm GMT).
She added the two children who died were under the age of five.
He said: “This is, I think, the worst anyone has seen in quite a long time.”
Mr Ayala added the tornado also left one adult with life-threatening injuries and three others in a serious condition in hospital.
He said that “this is a widespread storm”, before estimating there was serious damage to more than two dozen homes.
Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds issued a a statement saying she and her husband are praying for those who had died and also those injured in the tornado.
She said: “Our hearts go out to all those affected by the deadly storms that tore through our state today.
“Our hearts ache during this time, but I know Iowans will step up and come together to help in this time of need – they already are.”
Courtesy of Sky News
A severe storm system pummelled Australia’s northeastern city of Brisbane on Sunday, causing evacuations, power outages and school closures as the death toll climbed to seven from accompanying flash floods.
More than 1,400 homes in the capital of Queensland state were at risk of flooding while more than 28,000 homes were without power statewide, as pristine beaches on the Gold and Sunshine coasts, which are key tourist attractions, all closed.
“We never expected this rain,” state premier Annastacia Palaszczuk told a briefing. “This rain bomb is just really, you know, it’s unrelenting … It’s just coming down in buckets.”
More than 100 schools across the southeast of a state famed for abundant sunshine will be closed on Monday. State rescue services said they received 100 requests an hour for help in recent days.
Among the six killed in the flooding were a 34-year-old man who tried to swim to safety after the waters submerged his car and another whose vehicle was swept away in the most populous state of New South Wales (NSW).
About 700 people were asked to evacuate from the city of Gympie on Saturday after the Mary River system surged beyond 22.06 m (72.4 ft) for the town’s worst flood since the 1880s.
Meteorologists said the deluge and thunderstorms would continue through Monday, before starting to ease off in Queensland, but moving south to New South Wales, where some communities at risk in its northeast have been told to evacuate.
The risk of riverine and flash flooding was “very real over coming days,” said Steph Cooke, the state’s emergency services minister.
Courtesy of reuters.com
Lebanon has been left without electricity, plunging the country into darkness amid a severe economic crisis.
A government official told Reuters news agency the country’s two largest power stations, Deir Ammar and Zahrani, had shut down because of a fuel shortage.
The power grid “completely stopped working at noon today” and was unlikely to restart for several days, they said.
For the past 18 months Lebanon has endured an economic crisis and extreme fuel shortages.
That crisis has left half its population in poverty, crippled its currency and sparked major demonstrations against politicians.
A lack of foreign currency meanwhile has made it hard to pay overseas energy suppliers.
Many Lebanese people already depend on private diesel-powered generators for power. These however have become increasingly expensive to run amid the lack of fuel, and cannot cover for the lack of a nationwide power grid.
People were often receiving just two hours of electricity a day in the country before this latest shutdown.
In a statement, Lebanon’s state electricity company also confirmed the shutdown of the two power plants, which together provide some 40% of the country’s electricity.
Their closure led to the “complete outage” of the power network, the statement reportedly said, “with no possibility of resuming operations in the meantime”.
Al Jazeera reports protests in the northern town of Halba, outside the offices of the state power company, as well as residents blocking roads with burning tyres in the city of Tripoli.
The country is also grappling with the aftermath of the Beirut blast in August 2020, which killed 219 people and injured 7,000 others.
After the explosion its government resigned, leaving political paralysis. Najib Mikati became prime minister in September, more than a year after the previous administration quit.
Last month the militant group Hezbollah brought Iranian fuel into the country to ease shortages. Its opponents say the group is using the fuel delivery to expand its influence.
Courtesy of BBC News
Depth: 10 km
Distances: 21 km NE of Acapulco de Juárez, Mexico / pop: 673,000 / local time: 20:47:46.3 2021-09-07