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Two dead as Typhoon Neoguri hits Okinawa islands

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Two dead as Typhoon Neoguri hits Okinawa islands
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Torrential rains and strong winds from a weakening, but still strong, typhoon have hit Japan’s Okinawa islands, leaving two people dead.

More than 200,000 people have also been told to leave their homes, less than half the number who were advised to seek shelter on Tuesday.

Typhoon Neoguri was classified as a super typhoon earlier this week but has since been downgraded, though worries remain about its impact. The typhoon produced winds of up to 162 kilometres an hour on Wednesday but weather forecasters say their main concern is heavy rain.

They say saturated ground in the affected areas means there’s a high danger of landslides over the coming days.

Neoguri is now set to move north east, from Okinawa, reaching Kyushu island before moving on to Honshu, the island where Tokyo is located by Friday.

That’s raised some fears about two nuclear plants near its path, on Kyushu, with many Japanese sceptical about the safety of such plants following the 2011 disaster at the Fukushima nuclear reactor, which followed two natural disasters, an earthquake and a tsunami.