Japan urges thousands to evacuate as a powerful typhoon hits Okinawa with torrential rain and high winds. Katie Sargent reports
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The Japanese island of Okinawa was battered by high winds and heavy rain as it bore the brunt of powerful Typhoon Neoguri.
The tropical island 1600 miles southwest of Tokyo was the first Japanese area to feel the effects of the storm, which has been downgraded from a super typhoon but was still packing sustained winds of 180 kilometers per hour.
Japanese officials had urged more than 100-thousand people to evacuate their homes, although Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said early damage reports were encouraging.
JAPANESE CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY, YOSHIHIDE SUGA, SAYING:
"We have not received any information concerning great damage or injury. The prime minister has ordered the government to provide information to our citizens and to prepare thoroughly for any disaster and to respond quickly if anything is to happen."
Guests of one hotel in Okinawa watched the storm from the safety of the lobby while nearly seven-thousand households lost power.
One oil refinery had suspended operations and Kadena Air Base -- one of the largest U.S. military facilities in Okinawa was on its highest level of storm alert.
The storm is expected to lose strength as it continues norward, but still cause heavy rainfall and possible landslides.
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