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SHAKE AND BLOW
Hundreds flee homes in typhoon-hit Japan island
by Staff Writers
Tokyo (AFP) Oct 20, 2013


Tropical storm Raymond heads toward Mexico's west coast
Mexico City (AFP) Oct 20, 2013 - Tropical storm Raymond homed in Sunday on the southwest coast of Mexico, which is still recovering from devastating tropical storm hit just last month.

Raymond, which grew to tropical storm strength in the early hours of the morning, "is getting better organized south of the coast of Guerrero and moving to the northwest," according to the latest report from Mexico's national weather service.

It was expected to "slowly approach the coast of Mexico... late Monday or Tuesday," according to the Miami-based National Hurricane Center.

The storm -- which at 1230 GMT was 295 kilometers (183 miles) southeast of the tourist resort town of Acapulco -- was dumping heavy rains and sparking waves two to three meters (6.5 to 10 feet) high.

It boasted sustained winds of 65 kilometers (40 miles) an hour, with gusts up to 85 kilometers an hour.

Guerrero's governor called a tropical storm warning in the center and south of the state and closed waterways to "smaller boats for river fishing and recreation," a statement said.

Meanwhile, the interior ministry announced late Saturday it is sending "human and material resources to different sectors of the state" where temporary shelters were being opened and cautionary evacuations being done.

In mid-September, Tropical Storm Manuel made landfall in Guerrero, while another weather system, Ingrid, slammed almost simultaneously into the opposite coast.

The two storms claimed 157 lives and left 1.7 million people homeless. Their effects were felt across two-thirds of the country, but hardest hit was Guerrero, where landslides partially buried a mountain community and 101 of the deaths were recorded.

The unusual double storm blast occurred during a holiday weekend leaving thousands of tourists stranded in Acapulco when airports and highways were closed.

Hundreds fled their homes Sunday on a Japanese island already devastated by a typhoon for fear that torrential rain would trigger fresh mudslides.

The town of Oshima, 120 kilometres (75 miles) south of Tokyo, advised 2,300 residents in two districts on the island of the same name to evacuate, saying rain was expected to intensify due to a depression.

A total of 632 people had taken shelter in school gyms and community halls by early afternoon, an official at the town's administrative office said.

Many others were staying at relatives' homes in safer areas of the island, she said.

The meteorological agency has warned that rainfall could reach 40 millimetres (1.6 inches) per hour in the afternoon and has urged residents to be on alert.

The rain could trigger fresh landslides on the island where at least 27 residents were killed as a typhoon struck last week. Two others died in or near Tokyo.

Twenty-one people were still missing but search operations were suspended due to the bad weather.

Military airplanes flew 14 inpatients at the island's medical centre to hospitals in central Tokyo while Prime Minister Shinzo Abe cancelled his visit to the island set for Sunday.

Powerful typhoon Wipha triggered mudslides that buried some 30 houses and damaged more than 300 structures on Oshima last week.

Empress Michiko cancelled events scheduled Sunday at the imperial palace in Tokyo to celebrate her 79th birthday in the wake of the disaster.

An even stronger typhoon was churning north in the Pacific towards the Japanese archipelago.

Super Typhoon Francisco, currently packing winds of up to 198 kilometres (123 miles) per hour near its centre, is expected to be off the coast of Japan later in the week, according to the weather agency.

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SHAKE AND BLOW
Japan rescuers search mudslide for typhoon survivors
Oshima, Japan (AFP) Oct 17, 2013
Rescuers in Japan picked through mud and splintered houses Thursday after a typhoon that killed at least 19 people, as hopes faded for dozens not seen since a landslide engulfed their homes. Hundreds of police, firefighters and troops searched through the night in an area where buildings were swallowed when a mountainside collapsed. Typhoon Wipha, dubbed the strongest in a decade, never ... read more


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