A powerful typhoon pounds Japan’s Okinawa and injures more than 20 people as it moves toward China

TOKYO (AP) — A powerful typhoon slammed Okinawa and other islands in southwestern Japan Wednesday with high winds injuring more than 20 people as it moved west making its way toward mainland China.

Typhoon Khanun, which means jackfruit in Thai, was heading west at speeds of 10 kph (6 mph), packing surface winds of up to 180 kph (111 mph). It was at sea southwest of Okinawa’s main island, according to the Japan Meteorological Agency.

Twenty-two people were injured, most of them minor, according to the Okinawa prefectural government. The typhoon damaged homes and forced transportation to halt and stores to close as it slowly moved west.

In the Ogimi village in northeastern Okinawa, a man was found without vital signs after a garage collapsed on him due to violent wind, the Fire and Disaster Management Agency said. Several other homes were also damaged.

Hundreds of domestic and international flights in and out of the Naha airport were canceled, and public transportation, including buses, light rail transit systems and ferries connecting the region’s islands, were suspended.

Violent weather hit the region as the typhoon traveled slowly westward to the East China Sea.

Up to 20 centimeters (7.8 inches) of rainfall were expected in the Okinawa region by midday Thursday, the agency said.

Officials warned residents against flying objects due to violent winds and urged them to stay indoors and away from windows.

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