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Typhoon Noru approaches southwestern Japan

TOKYO, Aug 5, 2017 (BSS/XINHUA) - People in southwestern Japan on Saturday are bracing for the strong Typhoon Noru which is expected to make landfall at Japan's Kyushu island on Sunday morning, bringing violent winds and torrential rain.

As of 1 pm local time Saturday, the typhoon, the fifth one of this season, was 50 km south-southwest of Yakushima Island and was slowly moving north- northwest, according to the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA).

The typhoon, with central atmospheric pressure at 965 hectopascals, had winds at a speed of 35 meters per second near its center, with gusts reaching nearly 50 meters per second. Heavy rainfall and gusty winds are battering the Amami Islands in Kagoshima prefecture, south of Kyushu, with parts of the islands registering record rainfall of over 130 mm an hour Saturday morning.

The weather agency warned about possible flooding and landslides triggered by the torrential rain, and a total of some 9,000 people in 5,000 households in Kagoshima prefecture have been ordered or advised to evacuate.

Some 11,000 households suffered power failure, according to the Kyushu Electric Power Co., and 83 flights scheduled to take off from airport on the Amami Oshima island Saturday morning were canceled due to the typhoon.

Over the next 24 hours, heavy rain and strong wind are expected to batter the Kyushu island as well as western Japan as the typhoon drenches a wide swathe of Japan, according to the weather agency.