Record rain as typhoon batters southern Japanese islands

Tokyo (AFP) - A strong typhoon lashed islands in southern Japan Thursday, packing gusts of up to 252 kilometres an hour and leaving thousands without power as it headed towards the mainland.

Authorities warned of landslides and high waves as Typhoon Talim battered the southern Okinawan island chain, dumping the most rain seen over a 24-hour period in 50 years on the city of Miyako.

According to Okinawa Electric Power, more than 18,000 homes were without power in Miyako, a city of around 54,000 people some 1,840 kilometres (1,143 miles) southwest of Tokyo.

Japan's Meteorological Agency said the typhoon was expected to approach the Kyushu island by early Sunday. Local media said it was poised to cross Japan's mainland -- which includes Tokyo -- on Monday.

Big storms regularly strike Japan, with 22 people killed when Typhoon Lionrock pounded the country last September.

Last month, Typhoon Noru killed two and injured 51.

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