Strong typhoon slams western Japan; 2 dead, airport flooded
TOKYO (AP) — A powerful typhoon slammed into western Japan on Tuesday, causing heavy rain to flood the region’s main international airport and strong winds to blow a tanker into a bridge, disrupting land and air travel and leaving thousands stranded.
The storm left at least two people dead.
Jebi, reportedly the strongest typhoon to make landfall in Japan since 1993, headed north across the main island of Honshu toward the Sea of Japan.
It was off the northern coast of Fukui on Tuesday evening with sustained winds of 78 miles per hour and gusts up to 110 miles per hour, the Japan Meteorological Agency said.
A man in his 70s died apparently after being blown to the ground from his apartment in Osaka prefecture, while a 71-year-old man died when a storage building collapsed on him, officials said.
NHK public television said 126 people were injured.
High seas poured into Kansai International Airport, built on artificial islands in Osaka Bay, flooding one of its two runways, cargo storage, and other facilities, and forcing it to shut down, said the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport, and Tourism.
A passenger was slightly injured by shards from a window shattered by the storm.
A 2,591-tonne tanker that was mooring slammed into the side of a bridge connecting the airport to the mainland, damaging the bridge and making it unusable, leaving about 3,000 passengers stranded at the airport, transport ministry official Mitsuo Nakao said.
The tanker was also damaged, but its 11 crewmembers were not injured and remained on board, according to the coast guard.
More than 700 flights were cancelled, according to Japanese media tallies.
High-speed bullet train service was suspended from Tokyo west to Hiroshima, though service resumed partially later Tuesday when the typhoon left the region.