Japan weathers Typhoon Nabi

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Monday, September 5, 2005

Typhoon Nabi

Japan has been lashed relentlessly by Typhoon Nabi, with nine meter high waves and torrential downpours. It had been classified as a Category 4 storm, the same strength as the recent Hurricane Katrina in the United States, but was later downgraded to Category 3.

Flood warnings were issued from north Okinawa to Tokyo. Rain amounts were predicted to be greater than 19 inches (483 millimeters) for Kyushu, Japan's third largest island, and some areas may receive as much as 1 to 2 inches of rain per hour. "Water was almost reaching the second floor. I was really frightened," said a woman in her 50s.

The typhoon knocked power and water out for thousands of homes and has so far claimed two lives, including one man struck by lightning. Over 500 people were evacuated on the Northern Mariana Islands of Saipan, Tinian and Rota.

Nabi is expected to swerve eastward over the next 24 hours and is likely to continue battering much of Japan and the southern and eastern parts of South Korea.