Typhoon Ma-On Hits Japan

DOZENS of people were injured and more than 100 flights cancelled as strong Typhoon Ma-On lashed southern Japan with torrential downpours and gale-force winds, meteorologists and reports said.

Packing gusts of up to 180 kilometres per hour, the storm made landfall over southwestern Shikoku late yesterday, bringing up to 120 centimetres of rain since Sunday, the Japan Meteorological Agency said.

Ma-On – named after a Hong Kong mountain – was 40 kilometres west of Wakayama prefecture, some 450 kilometres from Tokyo, slowly moving east on Wednesday morning, it said.

At least one person was missing and 51 injured, while 130 domestic flights were cancelled today, public broadcaster NHK reported.

The weather agency warned that the tsunami-hit northeast coastal area would experience torrential rain and urged the region to brace for possible landslides and floods.