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Japan on typhoon alert

Tokyo, July 8 (Reuters): One man died, more than 500,000 people were urged to evacuate and hundreds of flights were cancelled in Japan as a strong typhoon brought torrential rain and high winds to its southwestern islands and could bring heavy rain to Tokyo later this week.

Typhoon Neoguri weakened from its original status as a super typhoon but remained intense, with gusts of more than 250km per hour .

It was powering through the Okinawa island chain where emergency rain and high-seas warnings were in effect.

The storm was at its most powerful when passing Okinawa, some 1,600km southwest of Tokyo , but the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) warned of heavy rains and potential flooding in Kyushu, the westernmost of Japan's main islands, as well as heavy rain in the rest of the nation as the storm turns east later in the week.

“People must take the utmost caution,” Keiji Furuya, state minister in charge of disaster management, told a news conference.

 
 
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