Typhoon Jelawat on course to hit mainland Japan

A fallen tree caused by typhoon Jelawat lies on a street in Naha, Japan, Saturday, Sept. 29, 2012. (AP Photo/Kyodo News)

TOKYO: Strong typhoon Jelawat was moving toward the Japanese mainland on Saturday, the national weather agency said, after it battered southern Okinawa island with gusts strong enough to flip cars.

Violent winds up to 234 kilometres per hour (145 miles per hour) have injured at least 56 people, including a person in Okinawa who lost a finger as a door slammed shut on it due to strong winds, national network NHK said.

The Okinawa Prefecture Police said it had counted at least 30 cases of typhoon-caused injuries as of late Saturday afternoon.

Okinawa Electric Power said some 331,500 households in the island prefecture have suffered power outage.

Winds have flipped over cars and blocked streets, adding to traffic chaos that included cancelled flights and ferries.

As of 0700 GMT, the typhoon was 30 kilometres south of Okinoerabu island, off Kagoshima prefecture, the Japan Meteorological Agency said.

It was moving northeast toward Tokyo at a speed of 30 kilometres per hour, with gusts and heavy rains expected in the Japanese capital on Sunday and Monday, the agency said.





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