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Thursday, 9th October 2014
In Weather In Japan,

Typhoon Vongfong heads to Japan, tourists on alert

Tourists in Japan are on alert as Typhoon Vongfong heads to the country.

While it's currently over water, it's one of the strongest tropical cyclones to come on the radar since Typhoon Haiyan last year, and is sure to cause damage if it doesn't change its course.

Typhoon Vongfong is classed as a super typhoon and in the centre winds of 155 knots (178mph) have been recorded.  Gusts are up to 190 knots and wave height has reached 50 feet. However, it is expected things will intensify, reaching 305 km/h (190mph).

The typhoon is heading for Okinawa on its current course and it is travelling west-northwest at around 9mph, according to the Japan Meterological Agency.

So far Typhoon Vongfong has passed Guam and caused heavy rain and minor damage. It is believed that by the time it reaches Japan, the typhoon will lose its intensity.

Kyushu is expected to be hit first but the country is prepared for typhoons at this time of year.

The biggest threat Typhoon Vongfong poses is water and Japan is already dealing with up to two feet of water that fell over the weekend as a result of Typhoon Phanfone. This may cause mudslides in more mountainous regions.

When it hits, Typhoon Vongfong will be the fourth to reach Japan this year.

Tourists should be sure to stay indoors while the danger exists and follow any safety instructions issued.

InsideJapan Tours' director Alastair Donnelly offered some reassuring advice to travellers. 

"Japan experiences several large typhoons every year and is very well equipped to cope with them. Although typhoons can cause extensive damage in remote and very rural regions, the cities continue to function as usual and for most tourists disruption will be limited to that rarest of things, delays on the bullet train, and the cancellation of some sightseeing boats and cable cars."

Written by Mark Smith

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