Powerful typhoon Nabi continues to lash southern Japan

Typhoon Nabi lashed southern Japan on Tuesday, injuring at least 15 people and forcing tens of thousands to evacuate, as the government dispatched troops to fortify defenses against the waves and flooding. Three people were reported missing.

Nabi was packing winds of up to 144 kilometers (89 miles) per hour as it churned near the coastal city of Kushikino on Japan's southernmost main island of Kyushu, Japan's Meteorological Agency said. At least 15 people were injured, three were missing and over 21,000 residents in Kyushu and the southwestern island of Shikoku were advised to evacuate.

National broadcaster NHK said ferry services linking South Korea and the northern Kyushu city of Fukuoka, as well as ferries linking Kyushu and western Japan, were canceled. Japan Airlines and its affiliates canceled 360 flights Tuesday morning and All Nippon Airlines grounded 145 flights. The cancelations would affect about 20,000 passengers.

Tokyo dispatched 70 Self-Defense Force troops to hard-hit areas to help fortify the coasts against storm surges and cope with flooding, said Chief Cabinet Secretary Hiroyuki Hosoda. The Meteorological Agency said up to 70 centimeters (28 inches) rain was expected in Kyushu and 600 centimeters (24 inches) in Shikoku by Wednesday morning.

NHK said power outages affected 190,000 households in Kyushu. The government will deploy 70 troops in Kyushu. Nabi, meaning butterfly in Korean, was expected to move northeast and will be the first typhoon to hit South Korea this year. One or two typhoons usually affect South Korea this time of the year, AP reports.

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