Japan hit by powerful Typhoon Lan, 237,000 people ordered to seek shelter

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Typhoon Lan has hit western Japan on Tuesday, prompting evacuation warnings for more than 237,000 people across 11 prefectures.

The typhoon made landfall near Shionomisaki in Wakayama prefecture around 5 a.m. local time with winds nearing 160 kilometers per hour (100 mph), equivalent to a Category 2 hurricane.

The slow-moving storm brought heavy rain and powerful winds to a wide area of central and western Japan, causing floods, landslides, power outages, and damage to roads and bridges. Parts of central Japan recorded 23 inches of rain in the 24 hours to 7:00 p.m. Some two dozen people were injured, with one in serious condition.

Authorities set up evacuation centers in safe buildings and high ground for residents who were ordered to move to safety by the Fire and Disaster Management Agency. Nearly 900 flights were cancelled and dozens of train services were suspended due to the dangerous weather conditions. All Japan Airlines and All Nippon Airlines (ANA) flights were suspended for the day.

Typhoon Lan follows Typhoon Khanun, which lashed southwestern Japan with wind and rain earlier this month. Japan has been grappling with deadly extreme weather this summer, including heat waves, flooding, and mudslides that have claimed lives and disrupted livelihoods. Scientists warn that human-caused global warming will increase the frequency and intensity of such events.

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