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Natural disasters

Supertyphoon passes southwestern Japan; 8.7m urged to evacuate

Widespread blackout affects 500,000 households

Typhoon Haishen barreling toward the main southwestern island of Kyushu on Sunday is shown at satellite image released by NASA Worldview, Earth Observing System Data and Information System (EOSDIS).

TOKYO -- A powerful typhoon continued to move northward Monday morning after passing Japan's southwestern main island, engulfing nearly all of the Kyushu region in a storm zone and prompting local authorities to urge more than 8.7 million people to evacuate across a wide area of the country.

As of 5 a.m., 504,600 households were without power in the Kyushu and Shikoku regions, according to utilities covering the areas.

The typhoon was travelling north about 30 km southwest of Tsushima, Nagasaki Prefecture, at 40kph as of 6 a.m. on Monday, according to the Japan Meteorological Agency.

The central pressure was 950 hectopascals, the maximum wind speed near the center was 40 meters per second, and the maximum wind speed was 60 meters per second.

Monday's expected maximum wind speeds are 40 meters in northern Kyushu; 25 meters in Kinki, Chugoku, Shikoku and southern Kyushu; and 18 meters in Tokai and Amami.

On Monday, warm and moist air is expected to flow in from the south, making the atmosphere unstable from western to eastern Japan. Northern Kyushu, where the typhoon is approaching, will face severe rains. Even western and eastern Japan is at risk of heavy local rains with heavy thunder. The JMA told the public to be alert for heavy rains, strong winds, high waves and tidal surges.

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