• Kyodo, Staff Report


Buildings collapsed and injuries were reported as strong winds, brought by a low-pressure weather system, lashed Japan on Friday.

The weather also caused chaos for several transport systems across the country.

About 100 people were evacuated from their homes in parts of Hokkaido, including the town of Tomamae and the village of Kamoenai.

Authorities said around 410 elementary and junior high schools in the prefecture were closed for the day.

In Obihiro, 60-year-old Yoshiaki Sato died after he and three others fell from a roof in strong winds while repairing it. Several others were also injured elsewhere in Hokkaido.

JR Hokkaido canceled more than 190 trains, including 40 limited express trains on the Nemuro and Hakone lines.

In Kawasaki, Kanagawa Prefecture, strong winds knocked down scaffolding at a construction site, and the city warned 15 nearby residents to take shelter. A woman in her 80s was injured after she fell down in the city due to strong winds.

The weather also forced trains to and from Kansai International Airport in Osaka Prefecture to stop operating Thursday night because they use a connecting bridge to the airport, which is situated on a man-made island.

Arriving passengers were advised to use buses and taxis instead, but an influx of Chinese tourists on a weeklong vacation marking China’s national day caused a chaotic situation, people at the airport said. The holiday celebrates former leader Mao Zedong’s proclamation of the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949.

Many tourists were at a loss over how to reach the city center late at night, with alternative transport provided by the airport only taking them as far as the other side of the connecting bridge, one Chinese tourist said.

The storm also disrupted railways in the Tokyo metropolitan area Friday morning. East Japan Railway and other railways suspended some express trains.

The low-pressure pattern was moving northeast over the Sea of Japan on Friday. The weather agency warned of winds of up to 108 kph in Hokkaido, 90 kph in Tohoku and Hokuriku, 83 kph in Kinki and 72 kph in Kanto and Tokai regions.

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