• SHARE

The season’s third typhoon was traveling northward Saturday skimming Japan’s Pacific coastline, bringing heavy rain and strong winds to Tokyo, surrounding areas and northeastern Japan.

Two men fell into rain-swollen irrigation ditches and died in separate incidents Saturday, but police later declared that their deaths were not directly related to the typhoon.

Police said the typhoon left three other people injured in Chiba, Kanagawa and Iwate prefectures.

The typhoon, whose Asian name Kirogi, or “duck,” was chosen by North Korea, was over the Pacific Ocean 140 km east-southeast of Morioka, Iwate Prefecture, as of 3 p.m., moving north-northeast at a speed of about 55 km per hour, the Meteorological Agency said.

It had an atmospheric pressure of 970 hectopascals and maximum wind speeds near its center of 108 kph. Wind speeds of more than 90 kph were recorded within a 110-km radius of its center, the agency said.

The typhoon is expected to move to a point 200 km east of Nemuro in Hokkaido at 3 p.m. on Sunday. The typhoon is then likely subside to a temperate depression, according to the agency.

In Ibaraki Prefecture, an 81-year-old man was found dead in an irrigation ditch near his house in the town of Shintone, police said.

Police in Saitama Prefecture said a 30-year-old man was found floating in an irrigation ditch and taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead. The man was apparently thrown out of his car after hitting the guard rail of a small bridge over the ditch, police added.

The stormy conditions have caused disruption to transport systems, with more than 120 domestic flights canceled, mostly to and from Haneda airport in Tokyo and at Sendai airport, according to the latest figures.

Train services were also hit. East Japan Railway Co. said it partially or completely suspended services temporarily on 11 JR lines, including the Sotobo and Kashima lines, mainly in Chiba Prefecture.

There were also cancellations to some express and rapid-service trains in the Tokyo metropolitan area. Yamagata Shinkansen canceled 19 services between Yamagata and Fukushima Stations.

Some toll roads, such as the Tokyo Aqualine, were also closed.

The heavy rain and strong winds also caused damage to homes in eastern Japan. Water flooded more than 1,300 houses in Tokyo and six other prefectures in eastern and northeastern Japan, they said.

Landslides destroyed three houses on Kozu Island, 169 km south of Tokyo, but nobody was injured as residents had evacuated before the storm struck. The island has recently been hit by a series of fairly strong earthquakes.

Likewise, there were no reports of casualties in Miyake Island, also in the Izu-Oshima chain, although landslides damaged some roads, authorities said.

Roads were flooded and trees also felled by wind in many areas. About 70 residents voluntarily evacuated their homes as a result of rising water levels in rivers.

In Soma, Fukushima Prefecture, authorities issued an evacuation order to some 70 households due to rising water levels in the Udagawa river, prefectural officials said.

A 24-year-old man was hit on the shoulder by a falling tree in Zama, Kanagawa Prefecture, suffering minor injuries, police said.

There was also a blackout in areas of Kanagawa and Shizuoka prefectures, according to Tokyo Electric Power Co.

On the island of Izu-Oshima, in the Izu chain, rainfall had reached 55 mm per hour by 2 a.m. Saturday, with total rainfall topping 400 mm.

By midday Sunday, total rainfall could reach as much as 200 mm on the Pacific Ocean side of the Tohoku region and in eastern Hokkaido, and 100 mm in eastern and northeastern Japan along the Sea of Japan, the agency said.

Many locations in eastern and northeastern Japan had more than 200 mm of rain by Saturday afternoon. In the town of Ogatsu, Miyagi Prefecture, rainfall totaled 357 mm.

A maximum wind speed of 177.48 km per hour was registered on Hachijo Island, about 300 km south of Tokyo, early Saturday, while 108 km per hour was recorded in Utsunomiya, north of Tokyo.

Coastal areas hit by the typhoon could have swells of 6 to 9 meters, the agency said.