Typhoon Goni headed for Japan

Typhoon Goni heads to Japan after killing at least 26 people in landslides and floods in Philippines

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Residents wade across floodwaters caused by Typhoon Goni in Bacnotan, La Union, in northern Philippines August 22, 2015

Updated Aug 25, 2015

Typhoon Goni has strengthened, gaining the intensity of a major hurricane, leaving 15 people dead, mainly due to landslides, in the Philippines.

The typhoon is forecasted to strike Japan at about 22:00 GMT on Aug. 24, according to data supplied by the US Navy and Air Force Joint Typhoon Warning Center.

Goni is expected to bring 1-minute maximum sustained winds in the region of around 157 km/h (97 mph) and wind gusts in the area may be considerably higher, the center's data suggests.

In the Philippines, near the remote mining town of Mankayan in the country's north, rescue teams recovered the bodies of 13 miners buried by a landslide that struck the area on Saturday.

"The slope collapsed after being saturated with rain, buried miners sheltering in huts used as a rest area," Ivy Carasi, a spokeswoman for the civil defence office in the region told Agence France-Presse.

Officials avoided giving an exact number for the miners still missing in the wake of the landslide.

Goni destroyed nearly a thousand houses and forced more than 12,000 people to flee while more than a dozen other people in the mountainous region were killed by landslides, officials said.

Goni is the ninth out of an average of 20 storms that hit the Philippines each year.

Packing gusts up to 252 kilometers per hour, Goni was moving just north of the main island of Japan's Okinawa island chain on Monday.

Five people sustained minor injuries as it brushed over Japan's Ishigakijima island, according to the country's Fire and Disaster Management Agency.

According to the Japan Meteorological Agency, the storm was on its course to directly hit Kyushu island Tuesday.

In Taiwan, thousands were evacuated from outlying islands and mountainous areas as a precaution, including 1,500 from the hot spring region of Wulai just outside Taipei.

TRTWorld and agencies