Typhoon Bears Down on Japan, Threatening to Bring More Rain
SAIPAN, Northern Mariana Islands (AP) _ Typhoon Robyn, packing gusts of up to 160 mph, roared toward southern Japan on Sunday, bringing more rain to a country already hit hard by floods.
Robyn was expected to pass just east of Okinawa late Sunday or early Monday, said Lt. Greg Salvato of the U.S. military’s Joint Typhoon Warning Center on Guam. The island is about 1,000 miles south of Tokyo.
Robyn, with sustained winds of 130 mph and gusts to 160 mph, is the seventh Pacific typhoon of the year. It was expected to unleash more rain on southern Japan, where floods and landslides have killed at least 40 people.
Hardest hit was Kagoshima City, about 625 miles southwest of Tokyo. It was soaked by more than 10 inches of rain on Friday.
Meanwhile, Tropical Storm Steve swept through the Marianas on Sunday but caused no injuries or major damage.
The storm’s maximum sustained winds of 60 mph and gusts to 80 mph might have damaged some crops, Civil Defense Agency Coordinator Elias Okamura said shortly after the storm passed. Some flooding of low-lying areas also occurred.
The Northern Mariana Islands are located to the west of the international dateline, some 3,300 miles from Hawaii. About 39,000 people live on Saipan and about 4,400 live on the neighboring islands of Tinian and Rota.
In the Caribbean, Tropical Storm Bret brushed the coast of South America on Saturday after lashing Trinidad and Tobago with 50-mph winds and downpours.
The Venezuelan and Colombian governments issued tropical storm warnings for areas in the storm’s path, but forecasters did not expect the winds to increase in strength.