July 14, 2007 / 6:04 AM / 11 years ago

Typhoon Man-yi lashes southern Japan, injures dozens

(Recasts with death of boy)

TOKYO, July 14 (Reuters) - A strong typhoon lashed southern Japan with high winds and heavy rain on Saturday, killing a boy, injuring dozens and forcing thousands of people to evacuate homes.

Man-yi struck the southernmost main island of Kyushu after storming through the islands of Okinawa on Friday, moving northeast at 35 km per hour (22 mph), the Meteorological Agency said.

With winds blowing at up to 216 km per hour (134 mph), forecasters expected the typhoon to move along the coast of the southeastern island of Shikoku and the country’s central region later in the day.

The typhoon was expected to brush by Tokyo late on Sunday, bringing heavy rain and winds, before veering off into the Pacific Ocean on Monday.

A 11-year-old boy died after he was swept along by a fast-moving river while trying to pick up a ball, a police official in southern Kagoshima prefecture said.

Public broadcaster NHK earlier said 56 people, including the boy, had been injured.

Television footage showed heavy rain pounding on empty streets and workers mopping floors of train stations.

NHK said several houses and a post office collapsed under a landslide in Kagoshima, while strong winds and landslides damaged dozens of homes in other areas.

Local officials advised over 15,000 households to evacuate as they warned of more flooding and landslides. Around 12,000 people fled to evacuation centres on their own.

"We’re worried. We don’t want to stay home," one elderly evacuee told NHK television.

Train services in Kyushu were halted, highways closed and more than 590 flights cancelled, Kyodo news agency said, disrupting travel for many during a three-day holiday weekend.

Around 29,700 homes in Kyushu suffered power blackouts, an official at Kyushu Electric Power said.

The storm was classified as a category 1 typhoon by British-based Web site Tropical Storm Risk (www.tropicalstormrisk.com), down from category 4 on Friday.

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