Tropical storm bears down on Japan, bringing heavy rain

September 1, 2011 09:10

TOKYO - A strong tropical storm edged closer to Japan on Thursday, bringing heavy rain to northern areas, closing stretches of major roads and threatening the country's Pacific coast with high waves.

Tropical storm Talas, packing winds of up to 180 km per hour at its center, was moving north-northwest at 10 km per hour, the speed of a bicycle, as of noon local time on Thursday and could make landfall in western Japan on Saturday, Japan's Meteorological Agency said.TV footage showed cars moving on flooded roads in cities near Tokyo.

An agency spokeswoman said it was hard to predict the impact of the storm, but up to 300 mm of rain was forecast for Tokyo and surrounding areas in the 24-hour period to midday on Friday, compared with the average rainfall for the whole of September in the region of 209 mm.

Given the slow speed at which Talas is moving, Japan is likely to see heavy rainfall for a prolonged period of time, she said.

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