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Tropical storm hits Japan, heads for hard-hit western region

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    Workers pile up sandbags on a bank damaged by flooding earlier this month in preparation for an approaching typhoon on Saturday in Kurashiki, Okayama prefecture, southwestern Japan.

TOKYO >> A tropical storm in Japan disrupted transportation and knocked out power to thousands of homes in its path as it headed west toward a region still recovering from devastating rains earlier this month.

At least 16 people have been injured, according to a tally by Japan’s public broadcaster, NHK.

Tropical Storm Jongdari made landfall about 1 a.m. Sunday in central Japan after dumping heavy rain on Tokyo and other parts of eastern Japan the previous day. Downgraded from a typhoon, it had maximum sustained winds of 90 kilometers per hour (56 miles per hour) with gusts up to 126 kph (78 mph).

Airlines cancelled many flights to and from the affected regions Sunday for the second day in a row, and train service was delayed or suspended. Electric utilities reported scattered power outages as the storm moved from east to west, NHK said.

Residents and workers piled up sandbags Saturday to guard against flooding in Okayama and Hiroshima prefectures, the two states hit hardest by landslides and floods that killed more than 200 people during record rains in western Japan in early July. Authorities issued evacuation advisories throughout the affected areas.

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