Japan Urges Evacuations, Cancels Flights Ahead of Typhoon Jebi

06 September, 2018, 02:30 | Author: Charlene Valdez
  • This screenshot from the Japan Meteorological Agency website shows the expected course of Typhoon Jebi in the coming days

Tides in some areas were the highest since a typhoon in 1961, NHK said, with flooding covering one runway at Kansai airport near Osaka, forcing the closure of the airport and leaving about 3,000 tourists stranded.

Airport officials began transferring the stranded passengers to nearby Kobe airport by high-speed boats on Wednesday morning, according to NHK.

An earlier series of typhoons that hit Japan in July cost the lives of more than 220 people.

Winds lashed buildings and whipped up the sea, yanking an 89-meter-long tanker, the Houunmaru, from its anchorage and ramming it into the bridge connecting Kansai Airport with the mainland.

The airport, which is built on an artificial island, had one of its runways flooded along with a terminal building.

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21 approached, railway operators and airlines canceled operations and flights in central and western areas of the country, while the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) urged people in the storm's path to remain vigilant against strong winds, high waves and torrential rain.

The typhoon caused serious damage to the airport, a major gateway for travelers arriving from Asian countries, and raised concerns about its impact on Japan's booming tourism industry.

Typhoon Jebi crashed into Japan at around midday on Tuesday with powerful winds and heavy rainfall. Japan's national broadcaster NHK said Thursday that the death toll had risen to 11, hundreds more injured.

Among those killed was a man in his 70s, apparently after he was blown to the ground from his apartment in Osaka prefecture. Up to 3,000 travelers still stuck inside the airport lined up in front of convenience stores to buy food before the supply dried up, according to media reports.

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

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Typhoon Jebi, the most powerful typhoon to hit Japan in 25 years, made landfall in Tokushima Prefecture on Tuesday afternoon, the weather office said.

The strongest typhoon to hit Japan in 25 years made landfall in southern Tokushima Prefecture on September 4, prompting evacuation warnings for hundreds of thousands of residents in the Kinki, Chugoku, Shikoku regions.

Winds up to 216 kilometers (135 miles) per hour tore off roofs, overturned trucks on bridges and swept a 2,500-ton tanker into a bridge leading to the airport, the region's main global gateway and a national transport hub.

USJ Co. said Wednesday it will keep Universal Studios Japan in Osaka closed for a second day, the first time the major tourist attraction has been closed for two consecutive days since it opened in 2001, as it needs to clean up and fix damage caused by strong winds.

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