Published: Tue, September 04, 2018
World News | By Laverne Osborne

Powerful Typhoon Slams Into Western Japan, Flooding Airport

Powerful Typhoon Slams Into Western Japan, Flooding Airport

Japan has issued evacuation advisories for more than one million people, while hundreds of flights have been canceled and at least six people have been reported dead.

After passing the southern part of Tokushima Prefecture, the typhoon passed near Kobe and moved into the Sea of Japan, the Japan Meteorological Agency said.

A tanker smashed into the bridge linking Kansai International Airport with the mainland on Tuesday as strong winds and high waves from a powerful typhoon blasted western Japan.

The weather agency said the typhoon is expected to travel to an area west of Hokkaido and weaken to an extratropical cyclone by Wednesday noon.

Evacuation advisories were issued for more than a million people at one point, the Fire and Disaster Management Agency said.

Almost 800 flights were cancelled, including several global flights departing and arriving at Nagoya and Osaka, along with ferries, local train services and some bullet train lines.

Japan Airlines Co., All Nippon Airways Co. and other airlines had canceled a total of 608 domestic and global flights on September 4. The tanker's 11 crew members were not injured and remained on board, according to Japan's coast guard.

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An unknown number of people have been transported to a local hospital for treatment following the incident. The National Transportation Safety Board said it was sending a team to investigate.

Amid strong winds and storm surges, Kansai International Airport, built on an artificial island nearly directly in the cyclone's path, suffered flooding to its runway and terminal building. The Japan Meteorological Agency said it had sustained winds of 160 kilometres per hour with gusts to 215 kph.

Typhoon Jebi is the latest of several extreme weather events to affect Japan. Schools in the affected areas have also been shut indefinitely.

In Osaka, the Universal Studios Japan theme park and USA consulate were both closed.

Kurora warned that the typhoon may bring violent winds to eastern, western and northern parts of the country. High-speed bullet train service was suspended from Tokyo west to Hiroshima, though service resumed partially later Tuesday when the typhoon left the region.

Toyota Motor Corp. halted operations at most of its group plants, and Honda Motor Co. stopped its Suzuka plant in Mie prefecture.

Abe had faced criticism over his initial response to heavy rain that pounded western Japan in July, given that he and some other ministers were found to have been drinking at a gathering of the LDP lawmakers in Tokyo as the situation became increasingly grim.

The capital, Tokyo, escaped the centre of the storm but was set for heavy rains and high winds.

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