Typhoon Haishen: 200,000 ordered to evacuate in Japan as storm approaches

Authorities in Japan have ordered at least 200,000 people to evacuate certain areas of the country due to an approaching storm.

Typhoon Haishen, the second powerful typhoon to slam Japan in a week, unleashed fierce winds and rain on southern islands on Sunday, blowing off rooftops and leaving homes without power as it edged northward into an area vulnerable to flooding and mudslides.

It is expected to intensify on Sunday, bringing with it heavy storm surges and winds of over 160km/h.

Weather officials compared rainfall from what could be a record storm to having a bucket of water poured over your head.

Warnings have been issued, days in advance, for people to be ready to take shelter and stock up on food and water.

Several rivers on the main southwestern island of Kyushu were at risk of overflowing, officials said.

The Japan Meteorological Agency said Typhoon Haishen, which means “sea god” in Chinese, was packing sustained winds of up to 180km/h as it battered Okinawa and the southern Kyushu island of Amami Oshima early Sunday.

Alerts for strong winds, waves, high tides, rainfall and lightning were issued for Amami Oshima alongside evacuation orders.

The typhoon is set to move over Kyushu on Sunday, making landfall in South Korea on Monday.

Haishen was not only powerful, equivalent to a Category 3 hurricane, but also large in its reach in areas affected, according to the Japanese agency.

Typhoon Maysak, one of the strongest storms to hit the area in several years, hit the area just days ago.

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