TOKYO, Oct. 23 – Five people were left dead and transportation systems and businesses severely disrupted as Typhoon Lan lashed central Japan’s Pacific coast after making landfall early Monday and hit wide swathes of the nation thereafter.
The Typhoon, with an atmospheric pressure of 950 hectopascals at its center and packing powerful winds of up to 198 kph, hit the Shizuoka Prefecture region of central Japan on the main island of Honshu at around 3:00 a.m. local time.
According to local news reports, the 21st typhoon of the season left a trail of destruction its past, with rivers bursting their banks and landslides engulfing homes, with the western region of Wakayama Prefecture seeing as much as 800 millimeters of rain through a 48-hour period to Sunday.
According to the weather agency here, Mie Prefecture was also hard hit, with the powerful storm dumping 700 mm of rain through the same period, which also caused extensive flooding in parts of Nara Prefecture.
A 63-year-old man was killed after strong winds brought down scaffolding at a construction site in the city of Fukuoka, southwestern Japan, and in Yamaguchi Prefecture, in western Japan, a 70-year-old man died after being forced to dive into the sea following his boat’s engine failing. In Osaka Prefecture, a 68-year old man was found dead in a car submerged car, while a man in his 80s died from head injuries after falling in Osaka city, local media reported.
In hard-hit Mie Prefecture, a 29-year-old man also died in a submerged car and in Wakayama Prefecture, an 82-year-old man is in intensive care after his house was leveled by a mudslide.
Operations will be halted until Monday evening at Toyota Motor Corp.’s factories in multiple prefectures, including Iwate, Miyagi and Gifu, local media quoted company representatives as saying.
Japan’s two major airline carriers, Japan Airlines Co. and All Nippon Airways Co., cancelled more than 100 flights on Monday, with 25,000 passengers affected. Shinkansen bullet train services were suspended along parts of the Tokaido line, and local services in Tokyo and Osaka were disrupted during rush hour Monday morning.
Evacuation orders were issued in some local cities and towns, and vote counting following Sunday’s lower house election suspended until Monday in areas where access to polling stations was affected by the typhoon.
According to the Japan Meteorological Agency, Typhoon Lan will be downgraded to an extra tropical cyclone on Monday night when it reaches east of Japan’s northernmost prefecture of Hokkaido.
(Copyright National News Agency / Xinhua, 2017)