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Typhoon Bolaven slams Okinawa, heads to S Korea

Tokyo, Aug 27 (): A powerful typhoon, named Bolaven crossed over Okinawa Island in Japan on Sunday and is now heading towards South Korea causing power cuts and paralyzing transport.

Japanese officials say, on lashing Japan’s Okinawa with heavy rains and the powerful typhoon left at least five injured, but no major damage was reported. The winds were more ferocious than any other typhoon Japanese island has seen in nearly 50 years.

Typhoon Bolaven, with wind gusts that reached as high as 259 kilometers per hour (161 mph) and a cloud field of 2,000 kilometers (1,250 miles), is 20 times larger than Okinawa’s length. International meteorologist Tom Sater said Bolaven is “roughly the size of France to Poland in land mass.”

However, by Tuesday the storm is expected to weaken to a Category 1 storm when it hits the Korean peninsula. A forecast report said, parts of China will also experience strong winds and heavy rainfall.

On Sunday, roads and bus services were closed on the Okinawa Island while an elevated rail link in Naha city had also been shut down, news reports said. About 75,000 households in Okinawa and the southern Japanese city of Kagoshima have been left without power after the typhoon struck on Sunday, Japanese media reported.

On Monday, traffic in Okinawa remained paralyzed on Monday, with all flights to and from Naha airport and ships linking the main island with smaller islands in the chain cancelled.

Bolaven could make landfall at the Korean peninsula on Tuesday morning or potentially in South Korea on Monday night, international meteorologist Jennifer Delgado said.

Meanwhile, another storm in the region is set to return to Taiwan. Forecasters expect Typhoon Tembin to pass over Taiwan late Monday or early Tuesday. The storm first hit the island Friday before looping back out to sea.