Four dead after typhoon batters Japan

Four dead after typhoon batters Japan

Japan typhoon
East Japan Railway company employees remove fallen branches from Yotsuya station in Tokyo after Typhoon Trami blew through the area overnight. (JIJI PRESS, EAST JAPAN RAILWAY/East Japan Railway Company/JIJI PRESS/AFP)

TOKYO: Four people have been killed in a powerful typhoon that battered Japan over the weekend, local media reported on Monday (Oct 1), as the storm's aftermath brought travel chaos to Tokyo.

By Monday morning, Typhoon Trami had cleared Japan, but its powerful winds and heavy rainfall caused damage that blocked roads and train lines.

Four people were killed in the storm and another was reported missing, Kyodo newswire said, citing local authorities.

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Local officials and police earlier said one of the dead was engulfed by a landslide in western Japan's Tottori and another drowned in high waters in Yamanashi, west of Tokyo.

Both men were believed to have died on Sunday, when the storm made landfall in western Japan.

More than 120 people were injured in the powerful storm, public broadcaster NHK said.

Trami made landfall in western Japan on Sunday night, bringing fierce winds and torrential rain to areas already battered by a string of recent extreme weather episodes.

A passenger checks a message board announcing last train services ending earlier due to Typhoon Tra
A passenger checks a message board announcing last train services ending earlier due to Typhoon Trami, at East Japan Railway Company's station in Tokyo, Japan, on Sep 30, 2018. (Photo: Reuters/Issei Kato)

The typhoon sparked travel disruption in the world's third-biggest economy on Sunday, with bullet train services suspended, more than 1,000 flights cancelled and Tokyo's evening train services scrapped.

The turmoil continued Monday, as fallen powerlines and trees blocked railway tracks and around 200 flights remained grounded.

Huge crowds built up at Tokyo train stations, people battling for spots in jam-packed commuter trains.

Over 400,000 households, mainly in eastern Japan, were still without power on Monday morning.

After pummelling Japan's outlying islands including Okinawa, Trami made landfall south of the city of Osaka on Sunday night.

Local residents described "incredible winds and rain" that made it impossible to venture outside.

Passersby using umbrellas struggle against strong wind and rain caused by Typhoon Trami in Nagoya
Passersby using umbrellas struggle against strong wind and rain caused by Typhoon Trami in Nagoya, central Japan, in this photo taken by Kyodo September 30, 2018. (Photo: Kyodo via Reuters) 

At its height, Trami packed gusts of 216 kilometres per hour, though it weakened as it moved over land.

The storm's strength prompted rail authorities to take the highly unusual step of cancelling Sunday night train services in Tokyo, one of the world's busiest networks.

The capital avoided a direct hit in the storm, but still saw fearsome winds and lashing rain that left the streets deserted.

Kansai Airport, which is situated on reclaimed land offshore in Osaka and suffered extensive damage in a storm earlier in September, reopened early on Monday after closing its runways the previous day as a precaution.

Trami is the latest in a string of extreme weather and natural disasters to hit Japan, which has suffered typhoons, flooding, earthquakes and heatwaves in recent months, claiming scores of lives and causing extensive damage.

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Some western regions are still recovering from Typhoon Jebi in early September, the most powerful typhoon to strike the country in a quarter of a century. It claimed 11 lives and shut down Kansai Airport.

Deadly record rainfall hit western Japan earlier this year, killing over 200 people, and the country also sweltered through one of the hottest summers on record.

And last month, a magnitude-6.6 earthquake rocked the northern island of Hokkaido, sparking landslides and killing more than 40 people.

Source: AFP/de