Wednesday, 26 September, 2018

Japan evacuates major airport as deadly typhoon wreaks havoc

This screenshot from the Japan Meteorological Agency website shows the expected course of Typhoon Jebi in the coming days This screenshot from the Japan Meteorological Agency website shows the expected course of Typhoon Jebi in the coming days
Glenn Montgomery | 07 September, 2018, 10:35

Typhoon Jebi is the most powerful storm of its type to hit Japan in a quarter-century.

The meteorological Agency of Japan urge caution in connection with the gusts of wind and high waves in Northern Japan, despite the fact that the Typhoon has become a zone of low atmospheric pressure off the coast of Hokkaido.

As Jebi swirled towards Japan, residents battened down the hatches.

How leading Japan news agency Kyodo News reported events as they unfolded today. In nearby Shiga prefecture, a 71-year-old man died when a storage building collapsed on him, and a man in his 70s died after falling from a roof in Mie, officials said.

The government said it had begun transporting nearly 5,000 people stranded at the Kansai International Airport via boats.

The ship, which had been anchored in Osaka Bay, was swept towards the bridge as the storm lashed Osaka. Wind gusts of up to 208 km/h (129 mph) were recorded in one part of Shikoku, with forecasts for gusts as high as 216 km/h (135 mph)."Our house is right at the base of a mountain, so it's a little risky and we made a decision to leave", one woman told NHK.

Evacuation advisories have been issued for more than 300,000 people in western Japan - including 280,000 in the port city of Kobe - with local officials setting up some 1,500 shelters, the central and local governments said in statements.

"I urge the Japanese people to take action to protect your lives, including preparing and evacuating early", he said.

Japan was struggling to clean up after being hit by what experts have called the biggest typhoon to strike the country in 25 years.

"This is (the strongest) since 1993".

The storm also cut power to hundreds of thousands of homes and caused schools, shops and factories to close in Osaka, Japan's second city and a major business centre.

Japan began on Wednesday to clean up after a powerful typhoon killed 11 people, injured hundreds and stranded thousands at a flooded airport, though when the airport in an industrial and tourist hub might reopen was not clear.

Dramatic videos of the storm on social media Tuesday showed winds lifting cars, toppling trees, and tearing scaffolding and cladding off buildings.

Japan usually suffers the attacks of typhoons in summer, but this year has been particularly hard.

At least six people have died as a result of Typhoon Jebi, according to Japan's public broadcaster, NHK.

The flooding and landslides proved so deadly in part because many people did not heed evacuation warnings, which are not mandatory.

Overall, at least 2.4 million households had lost power in the storm, with service restored to only half by Wednesday morning.

Typhoon Jebi "will clearly put a dent" in inbound arrival numbers, said Andrew Jackson, head of Japanese equities at Soochow CSSD Capital Markets in Singapore.

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