Osaka's international airport flooded, tanker hits bridge as Typhoon Jebi wreaks havoc

Osaka's international airport flooded, tanker hits bridge as Typhoon Jebi wreaks havoc

Osaka airport flooding Typhoon Jebi
An aerial view shows a flooded runway at Kansai airport, which is built on a man-made island in a bay, after Typhoon Jebi hit the area. (Photo: Kyodo/via REUTERS)

TOKYO: One of Japan’s busiest airports, Osaka's Kansai International Airport, was completely shut on Tuesday (Sep 4) because of flooding caused by Typhoon Jebi, the strongest to hit Japan in 25 years

More than 700 flights were cancelled. Flood waters covered runways, leaving several planes submerged up to their engines, NHK reported, citing transport ministry officials.  

Osaka KIX flood
A photo circulating on social media shows flooding at Osaka's Kansai International Airport as Typhoon Jebi battered Japan's western coast on Sep 4, 2018. (Photo: Twitter/Stephenie Kunz)

The basement floor of a terminal building has also been flooded. 

Travellers have been left stranded at the airport, as the bridge linking the airport to the city of Izumisano on the mainland was damaged by a tanker. 

READ: Tourists moved from flooded Osaka airport via boats as typhoon leaves 10 dead

READ: Singapore Airlines cancels Osaka flights as typhoon floods Kansai International Airport

Strong winds sent the 2,591-tonne tanker crashing into the bridge, prompting the closure of the bridge’s road and rail links. The tanker was empty and none of its crew was injured, the coast guard said.

Osaka oil tanker
A tanker is seen after it slammed into the side of a bridge connecting the airport to the mainland, damaging part of the bridge and the vessel in Osaka, western Japan on Sep 4, 2018. (Photo: Nobuki Ito/Kyodo News via AP)

NHK also showed footage of a 100m-tall ferris wheel in Osaka turning furiously in the strong wind despite being switched off.

"I'm surprised that the switched-off ferris wheel began to move with the strong wind. I've never seen such a thing," a 19-year-old boy at the scene told the public broadcaster.

Other images showed the wind blowing away rooftops and peeling off multi-storey scaffolding attached to a building, and transformers on electric poles exploding.

Universal Studios Japan, a popular amusement park near Osaka, is closed.

Japan typhoon 1
Scaffolding of a building being demolished, collapse, following a powerful typhoon in Osaka, western Japan, Tuesday, Sep 4, 2018. (Photo: Nobuki Ito/Kyodo News via AP) 

Japan typhoon 4
A police car makes through a flooded road following a powerful typhoon in Osaka, western Japan, Tuesday, Sep 4, 2018. (Photo: Kota Endo/Kyodo News via AP)

About 1.45 million households were without power in Osaka and its surrounding areas at 3pm local time. Toyota Motor Corp said it was cancelling the night shift at 14 plants.

Japan typhoon 3
Damage seen at Osaka on Tuesday (Sep 4). (Photo: Twitter/@danixokamoto)

Jebi - which means "swallow" in Korean - was briefly a super typhoon and is the latest harsh weather to hit Japan this summer following rains, landslides, floods and record-breaking heat that killed hundreds of people.

The storm made landfall on Shikoku, the smallest main island, around noon. It raked across the western part of the largest main island, Honshu, near the city of Kobe, several hours later, heading rapidly north.

Japan typhoon 2
Containers fall near a port in Osaka, western Japan, following a powerful typhoon hit the region, in Tuesday, Sep 4, 2018. (Photo: Kota Endo/Kyodo News via AP)

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

Source: Agencies/ec/(gs)