Powerful typhoon Vongfong made landfall in Japan mainland on Monday morning, however with considerably weaker winds. According to Japan Meteorological Agency, Vongfong had hit the city of Makurazaki on Kyushu island as a minimal typhoon, with maximum sustained winds of 180 kmph.
With this, there is a threat of torrential rainfall in large parts of Japan over the next couple of days. As per the latest update, the center of Vongfong had reached the southwestern tip of Shikoku, one of Japan's four main islands. However, the wind speed has tailed off to 65 mph, which makes Vongfong a tropical storm now.
Around 52 people were injured, while one has been reported to be missing in separate typhoon related incidents. National carrier, Japan Airlines has cancelled more than 300 flights.
Smashing winds uprooted trees and electricity poles, while huge waves were smashing into breakwaters. Television footage showed the roof and walls of several houses being ripped off by gusts in Makurazaki.
Vongfong is now moving in a east-northeast direction at a speed of over 20 mph but its forward motion will continue to accelerate over the next day or two.
Prior to making landfall in mainland, Vongfong had hit the islands of Kadena and Okinawa on October 10, as a super typhoon. Though maximum sustained winds had tailed off lightly, but were still estimated at 150 mph, equivalent to a Category 4 hurricane.
Earlier on October 7, Vongfong had intensified into the strongest tropical cyclone of 2014 after growing rapidly overnight on October 6. According to Joint Typhoon Warning Center, USA, maximum sustained winds had reached its peak at 180 mph, which is equivalent to a potentially catastrophic Category 5 hurricane. With this, Vongfong had become the fifth super typhoon of 2014
The typhoon came just a week after another strong tropical storm lashed the country, leaving 11 people dead or missing.
Picture courtesy: Reuters