Typhoon Maria losing steam but Saomai near Naha

Typhoon Maria was moving northeast over the Pacific Ocean off the Kanto region Wednesday, losing strength but still disrupting rail and air traffic.

The typhoon, the season’s seventh, was expected to dump heavy rain on the Kanto and southern Tohoku regions before becoming an extratropical depression Thursday, the Meteorological Agency said.

Powerful Typhoon Saomai, meanwhile, was off the coast of Okinawa Island, and was expected to lash the southernmost prefecture as it moved toward Taiwan.

Japan Airlines and All Nippon Airways canceled 141 flights scheduled to depart from Okinawa’s Naha airport between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Wednesday, affecting about 24,000 travelers.

ANA also canceled seven flights connecting Tokyo’s Haneda airport with Oshima and Hachijo islands of the Izu chain due to Typhoon Maria.

The JR Ito Line linking Atami and Ito in Shizuoka Prefecture temporarily suspended operations due to heavy rain, while some express trains linking Tokyo with coastal areas in Chiba and Shizuoka prefectures were canceled.

Maria was moving slowly, making it capable of causing heavy rain over a prolonged period in the Kanto region and Tohoku region.

Up to 150 mm of rain was expected in southern Kanto and southern Tohoku and 120 mm in northern Kanto by Thursday morning.