Typhoon disrupts start to holiday week in Japan; 6 injured, half a million ordered to evacuate

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A typhoon is lashing Japan as it enters a holiday week, injuring six people and causing authorities to order the evacuation of half a million people near swollen rivers.

Typhoon Halong disrupted land and air traffic Saturday as Japan began its annual "Obon" Buddhist holiday week.

Japan's Meteorological Agency issued a special warning for heavy rain in Mie prefecture in central Japan, prompting two towns to order about 500,000 residents to evacuate due to a fear of flooding from swollen rivers. The agency said heavy rain in the area would continue overnight.

Strong winds left six people injured, one seriously, in Miyazaki prefecture in southern Japan.

Halong, packing winds of up to 180 kilometers (110 miles) per hour, was approaching the southwestern island of Shikoku late Saturday.