Asia-Pacific

Thousands ordered to evacuate in Japan

A powerful typhoon bearing down on the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido has forced authorities to order the evacuation of thousands of residents.

Thousands of residents in northern Japan have been ordered to evacuate as a powerful typhoon bears down on the island of Hokkaido.

Local authorities issued evacuation orders for Nemuro city on the coast and neighbouring areas, as Typhoon Choi-Wan approached from the east, the Hokkaido daily reports.

About 170 flights have been cancelled and scores of train services suspended, the paper says.

The season's 23rd typhoon, still several hundred kilometres east of Japan, had maximum sustained winds of 108kph and gusts of 162kph, the Japan Meteorological Agency says.

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