A major typhoon is headed toward Japan and is expected to cross over the western and central areas of the archipelago Friday and Saturday.
The Japan Meteorological Agency said Typhoon Talas was travelling slowly at 6 miles per hour (10 km per hour) on Friday. It packed winds of up to 110 mph (180 kph) and setting off downpours and strong winds.
The typhoon was expected to cause rainfalls for long periods, because of its relative slow speed. Among the rain-affected will be the north-eastern part of Japan devastated by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, and still covered in mud and rubble.
Typhoons in Japan frequently cause mudslides, halt trains and planes, with heavy winds injuring people struck by flying objects or slamming them to the ground.