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updated: 8/27/2012 7:29 AM

Typhoon Tembin seen looping back to Taiwan

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  • High waves pound the shore in Yonabarucho, Okinawa Prefecture, southern Japan, Sunday morning. The strongest typhoon to hit Okinawa in several years lashed the island and surrounding areas Sunday, injuring several people and cutting off power to about 30,000 households. Because of Typhoon Bolaven in Japan, Typhoon Tembin could be looping back around Monday to Taiwan.

      High waves pound the shore in Yonabarucho, Okinawa Prefecture, southern Japan, Sunday morning. The strongest typhoon to hit Okinawa in several years lashed the island and surrounding areas Sunday, injuring several people and cutting off power to about 30,000 households. Because of Typhoon Bolaven in Japan, Typhoon Tembin could be looping back around Monday to Taiwan.
    Associated Press

 
Associated Press

TOKYO -- Typhoon Tembin, which drenched southern Taiwan last week before going out to sea, appeared to be looping back Monday for another run at the island and the nearby Philippines, forecasters said.

The revisit comes after another storm about 750 miles to the northeast, Typhoon Bolaven, lashed the Japanese island of Okinawa. It injured five people and left 66,500 households without power as of Monday afternoon, but did less damage than feared before moving north into the East China Sea.

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Bolaven could affect coastal areas of South Korea by Tuesday, weather officials said.

Taiwan's Central Weather Bureau predicted that Tembin would make landfall early Tuesday in the same part of southern Taiwan where it dumped more than 20 inches of rain three days ago.

Tembin, packing winds of 75 mph, will likely skirt the eastern Taiwanese coast before moving northward toward the Chinese mainland, the bureau said.

In Manila, the Philippine weather agency reissued typhoon warnings to residents and fishermen for Tembin, which blew out of the archipelago over the weekend. Fishing boats in the north were urged not to venture out to sea while larger ships were warned of possible big waves and heavy rains.

While Tembin was not likely to blow onto land, Filipino forecaster Manny Mendoza said its 375-mile-wide cloud band would likely intensify monsoon rains and bring strong winds and thunderstorms to the country's still-soggy north.

Disaster officials in Okinawa were relieved that Bolaven, which had been billed as the strongest storm to hit the southern Japanese islands in several years, ended up being weaker than expected.

Okinawa authorities reported no major damage Monday aside from the blackouts. Officials in the nearby Amami islands said they had reports of damaged houses, but information was still being collected.

Many schools and government offices were closed because of the blackouts.

Buses were not running Monday, but Naha Airport, serving Okinawa's capital, began functioning again, with 89 domestic flights operating and about 30 canceled.

It wasn't immediately clear if ferry service had restarted amid still rough seas.

As Bolaven, the 15th storm of the season, approached Okinawa on Sunday, the Japan Meteorological Agency said wind speeds near the center of the typhoon were about 112 mph, with gusts reaching 155 mph, possibly equaling or surpassing past records for the area.

But public broadcaster NHK reported that the gusts measured on Amami island north of Okinawa reached just 87 mph.

Okinawa disaster authorities said five people were hurt, including a 75-year-old woman who broke her hip when winds knocked her over.

As of Monday afternoon, 56,700 households were without electricity on Amami island, while 9,800 households on Okinawa lacked power.

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