TOKYO, Aug. 17 (Xinhua) -- Typhoon Chanthu made landfall on Japan's northernmost prefecture of Hokkaido on Wednesday, triggering evacuation orders and advisories, with the weather agency here warning that torrential rain could trigger floods and landslides as well as disrupt transportation networks.
The Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) said that the typhoon made landfall on the southeastern area of Hokkaido, near Cape Erimo, and that as of 7 p.m. strong gusts of up to 144 kilometers per hour had been logged.
As many as 10,000 residents are currently under evacuation orders or advisories, since the typhoon traveled north off the Pacific coast, from the northeast of the country, with almost 3,000 people in Iwate Prefecture ordered or advised to evacuate their homes and some 4,000 in Hakodate City in Hokkaido also under advisories, local media reported.
The orders and warnings were given to those most at risk from landslides and flooding, and around 300 train services have been suspended in Hokkaido and schools were also canceled preemptively, as the weather agency has issued alerts for floods, high waves, as well as landslides in the region.
Falling trees injured two passengers traveling on a bus in Iwate Prefecture, according to local reports, while a a middle-aged man had to be rescued and taken to hospital in Hokkaido following his car almost being swamped by the heavy downpour.
The typhoon on its way north earlier in the day skirted the Kanto region, including Tokyo, causing disruption to local and Shinkansen bullet train services, as well as grounding some flights to and from Hokkaido, with hourly rainfall reaching record highs in cities in both Ibaraki Prefecture and Fukushima, at 65.5 millimeters and 55.5 mm respectively.
Aomori Prefecture recorded 47 mm of rainfall and Hakodate City in Hokkaido had logged 39 mm as of 2 p.m. local time, the weather agency said.
The JMA said the typhoon could bring downpours of as much as 150 mm in some regions in Hokkaido, although it said it is likely to be downgraded to an extratropical cyclone leaving heavy rain in its wake as it heads over the Sea of Okhotsk on Thursday morning.