Powerful typhoon hits Japan and Taiwan, killing one

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Published in Weather News

TOKYO -- Typhoon Lekima battered southern Japan and Taiwan on Friday, killing one Taipei resident, with strong winds and heavy rains disrupting transport in the region.

This year's ninth typhoon caused the cancellation of 68 flights and 155 ferry services in Japan's Ryukyu Islands region, while at least four people were injured in Okinawa prefecture, local newspaper Okinawa Times reported.

Japanese forecasters warned of high waves, torrential rains and powerful winds even though the storm has passed through the islands and heading towards China's mainland.

As of noon (0300 GMT), the eye of the storm was over the East China Sea, traveling northwest at 25 kilometers (15 miles) per hour with maximum sustained winds of 162 kilometers (100 miles) per hour and gusts of 234 kilometers (145 miles) per hour, the Japan Meteorological Agency said.

Separately in Taiwan, Lekima skirted past the northern tip of the island early Friday, bringing heavy rains and damaging winds.

A 64-year-old man in the capital Taipei died after being knocked to the ground while cutting trees late Thursday, according to Taiwan's Central Emergency Operation Center, or CEOC.

Transport was affected, with 383 international and 138 domestic flights being canceled and some ferry services suspended.

Damaged power poles left more than 60,000 households without electricity late Thursday, with 9,000 still waiting for power to be restored, the CEOC said.

Schools and most offices in northern Taiwan also remained closed on Friday.

Taiwan's Central Weather Bureau on Friday said that Lekima has weakened but warned of heavy rains in the coming days.

More than 2,500 residents in areas prone to floods have been evacuated.

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