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Typhoon Hits Japan, Heads for Taiwan

September 06, 2002|From Associated Press

TAIPEI, Taiwan — Typhoon Sinlaku battered Japan's southern islands Thursday, leaving a tugboat and crew missing, and then churned on toward Taiwan. Thousands of homes in Japan were without electricity, and many schools were closed.

The powerful storm's center was expected to pass just north of Taiwan today, but Sinlaku's outer winds could lash the crowded island, prone to deadly flash floods and mudslides, the Central Weather Bureau said.

Sinlaku, with winds of 90 mph, swept over the Ryukyu Islands Wednesday and Thursday, injuring 29 people and cutting power to 89,200 homes, said Keiko Okumura, a spokeswoman for Okinawa prefecture.

Among the injured were people caught in collapsing houses, she said.

The storm closed the prefecture's public schools, Okumura said.

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