Two dead as monster typhoon batters Japan

Larry Hoffman
September 4, 2018

"Maintaining its very strong power, the typhoon is forecast to approach western and eastern Japan", the agency said.

Authorities warn that when it makes landfall later today, it could be the strongest storm to do so in Japan in a quarter of a century.

It's possible it may end up close to the parts of Japan where more than 200 people were killed in heavy rains and flooding in July.

Singapore Airlines (SIA) has cancelled four flights to Osaka following the closure of Kansai International Airport due to floods caused by Typhoon Jebi.

Around 3.9 in. of rain fell in Kyoto in the storm's first hour, with as much as 20 in. expected by noon Wednesday; a few people have already been injured by heavy winds.

After making landfall somewhere on the main island of Shikoku or Kii Peninsula on Tuesday, the typhoon is expected to pass over the Sea of Japan, the agency said, adding that it will likely weaken to an extratropical cyclone there.

Railway services were canceled beforehand in the Kinki region, and many retail businesses announced that they would be closed on September 4.

The meteorological agency said in a televised warning the system could trigger violent winds, landslides and flooding in the southern and southwestern parts of the archipelago, as well as high tides, lightning and tornadoes.

Almost 600 domestic and global flights were cancelled, along with scores of ferries and trains, the public broadcaster NHK said.

West Japan Railway Co. halted all local services in the area's three main cities, with some subway lines in Osaka also stopped.

Shinzo Abe, the prime minister, urged people not to wait for mandatory evacuation orders to abandon their homes as Typhoon Jebi, known as Typhoon 21 in Japan, struck the island of Shikoku and the centre and west of the main island of Honshu.

Elsewhere in Osaka, the Universal Studios Japan theme park and U.S. Consulate were both closed.

Local media warned that the wind was strong enough to topple traditional-style wooden houses and power poles, and urged people in affected areas to avoid non-essential travel.

More rain might be welcome in other parts of Japan, which has also been sweating through a deadly heat wave.

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