Dozens Hurt as Powerful Typhoon Strikes Japan

Posted July 20th, 2011 at 4:45 am (UTC-5)
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One person is reported missing and dozens are injured after Typhoon Ma-on struck the southwestern Japanese island of Shikoku early Wednesday.

Kyodo news says at least 47 people across 15 prefectures suffered injuries from Ma-on's torrential rains and powerful winds, which reached at least 90 kilometers an hour. An 84-year-old man in Kochi prefecture was been reported missing after going to check on his boat.

Ma-on has been downgraded to a tropical storm and is moving eastward at 22 kilometers an hour, with winds of about 100 kilometers an hour. Forecasters say Ma-on has dropped as much as one meter of rain on parts of Japan.

The typhoon is forecast to pass south of Tokyo and away from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, which was crippled by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami. But the Tokyo Electric Power Company said it was taking steps to protect the damaged reactor buildings and prevent the overflow of radioactive cooling water.