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STS Neoguri moving east off Kyushu

Severe tropical storm Neoguri is moving east in waters off Japan's southern main island of Kyushu.

Neoguri, which was downgraded from a typhoon on Wednesday afternoon, still packs strong winds and is expected to bring heavy rain.

The Japan Meteorological Agency says the storm was over the East China Sea west of Kyushu at 5 PM on Wednesday, and moving at a speed of 20 kilometers per hour.

Its central atmospheric pressure was 970 hectopascals, with a maximum wind velocity of about 110 kilometers per hour and maximum instantaneous wind velocity of about 160 kilometers per hour.

Winds of over 90 kilometers per hour are being observed within 240 kilometers east of the storm and 90 kilometers west.

The storm has brought record rainfall to parts of Japan's southernmost prefecture of Okinawa.

Yomitan Village had a record 96.5-millimeter downpour in one hour on Wednesday morning.

Twelve-hour rainfall on Okinawa's main island has reached 300 millimeters, double the average for July.

The storm and a seasonal rain front are making atmospheric conditions unstable over much of Japan.

The Meteorological Agency says Sado Island in the Sea of Japan off Niigata Prefecture has had the kind of heavy rain that falls about once in 50 years.
The agency is urging caution against flooding and mudslides in Kyushu and on the Pacific coast of Honshu, which are expected to have 50 to 70 millimeters of rain per hour through Thursday.

35 people had suffered storm-related injuries in Okinawa and Oita prefectures as of 2 PM Wednesday.

In Niigata Prefecture, about 120 homes were flooded.
Some 5,600 households in the prefecture have been advised to evacuate.

Jul. 9, 2014 - Updated 08:30 UTC