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You are here News International Typhoon lashes Japan's Okinawa island chain

Typhoon lashes Japan's Okinawa island chain

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typhoonTyphoon Neoguri was downgraded from "super typhoon" status but still packed a powerful punch Tuesday as it lashed Japan's Okinawa island chain with strong winds, heavy rain and large waves.

About half a million residents were advised to evacuate though most appeared to stay home as sustained winds reached 120 miles per hour, with gusts up to 148 mph, according to the Japan Meteorological Agency. The storm could be one of the strongest to hit Japan in decades, with waves up to 46 feet high, the agency said.

Four people, including an 83-year-old woman, were injured and a fisherman was missing, said Japanese government officials, reported the BBC. Local airports in the Okinawa region have been closed and some aircraft moved from U.S. air base Kadena. Most of the U.S. troops stationed in Japan are based in Okinawa.

Jeff Schlueter, a U.S. Air Force lieutenant colonel stationed at Kadena Air Base, told Bloomberg News that the storm had halted most work there. "It's windy and rainy, but I've been through worse," he said. "I'm from the Midwest, we get tornadoes."

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