Powerful Typhoon Trami heads to flood battered Japan

by Garry Watts October 1, 2018, 0:11
Powerful Typhoon Trami heads to flood battered Japan

Japan issued evacuation orders and warnings to about 700,000 households in southern and western Japan.

Kansai International Airport in Osaka, western Japan, which was heavily flooded by a typhoon last month, announced that it would close its runways from 11 am local time, until 6 am on Monday.

A woman in her 60s went missing in Miyazaki prefecture, southern Japan, after she was washed away in a paddy irrigation channel, according to NHK.

Many flights were cancelled at major airports throughout Japan, including Tokyo's Narita and Haneda.

Airlines cancelled more than 1200 flights, public broadcaster NHK said.

The storm is expected to pass through Honshu island, where Tokyo is situated, between Sunday and Monday and leave the northern island of Hokkaido by Monday midday.

As of noon September 29, the typhoon was about 40 kilometers south-southeast of Okinawa's Kumejima island and moving northward at a speed of 20 kph. Parts of the Tozai metro line in Tokyo also suspended service after 9 p.m.

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Outlying islands in the Okinawan chain were pounded by torrential downpours Saturday, causing damage to buildings and destroying vegetation throughout the region.

The busy airport was closed for several days after flooding by Typhoon Jebi and a freighter hit the bridge connecting it to the mainland earlier in the month. The strongest typhoon to hit Japan in 25 years, Jebi caused 11 deaths in and around Osaka.

The airlines advised passengers to consult their websites for information about the latest changes, delays and cancellations, which might also affect flights to and from other Japanese airports than Kansai.

West Japan Railway Co. said all trains in the area covering Kyoto, Osaka and Kobe would suspend operations from about noon September 30 as the typhoon approaches the Kansai region.

Images from the International Space Station posted on Twitter by astronaut Alexander Gerst on Tuesday showed Trami's enormous eye which he said was "as if somebody pulled the planet's very big plug".

Maintaining its "very strong force", the storm churned near Kagoshima on the western tip of Japan, causing seven minor injuries.

"We are strongly urging our residents to stay indoors because it is extremely risky to be outside now", Masaaki Tamaki, an official of Kagoshima's disaster management section, told AFP. Nearly all of services on the Tokaido Shinkansen Line are also being suspended throughout September 30, according to Central Japan Railway Co.

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