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Typhoon Khanun Threatens Japan and China on Heels of Doksuri

A powerful tropical cyclone was approaching islands in southern Japan on Tuesday, days after another one slammed into mainland China and the Philippines and left dozens of people dead or injured across the region.

The new storm, Typhoon Khanun, was less than 200 miles southeast of a major United States military base in southern Japan’s Okinawa Prefecture on Tuesday, according to the United States military’s Joint Typhoon Warning Center in Hawaii.

Khanun was producing maximum sustained winds of 138 miles per hour, making it the equivalent of a Category 4 storm on the five-category wind scale that meteorologists in the United States use to measure Atlantic hurricanes. (Tropical cyclones are called hurricanes in the Atlantic and typhoons in the northwestern Pacific.)

Japan’s official forecast showed the storm heading northwest toward mainland China later in the week. But the meteorological authorities in China said that it might turn further north and head for Japan’s major islands instead.

Parts of Okinawa were under an emergency warning on Tuesday, indicating a high risk of landslides or storm surges, according to Japan’s meteorological agency. Hundreds of flights had been canceled at Okinawa’s major airports, and the four major bus companies on its main island announced they had suspended service for the day.

Kadena Air Base, the United States military installation on Okinawa that was near the storm on Tuesday, the Kadena Air Base, said that it was bracing for three days of typhoon conditions and had already recorded wind gusts of at least 69 miles per hour.

An earlier typhoon, Doksuri, made landfall in southern China on Friday with the force of a Category 2 hurricane, pushing a mass of moist air northward that has led to heavy rain in Beijing and other northern cities this week.

As of Tuesday afternoon, those rains had left at least 11 people dead and 27 missing in Beijing. Several northern China cities were still grappling with heavy flooding.

On its way to China, Doksuri also had battered the northern Philippines with the force of a Category 4 storm. The Philippine authorities said last week at least 13 people were killed in flooding and landslides, and that at least 26 died after strong winds caused a ferry to capsize near the capital, Manila.

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Mohammad SHiblu

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