National

Two dead after powerful typhoon brings heavy wind and rain to Honshu

KYODO

Typhoon Lan edged closer to the main island of Honshu on Sunday, leaving at least two people dead, with the tropical cyclone likely to make landfall in central or eastern Japan after midnight.

The large typhoon had weakened slightly with an atmospheric pressure of 945 hectopascals at its center and winds of up to 216 kilometers per hour, according to the Japan Meteorological Agency. As of 9 p.m., it was located south of Cape Shionomisaki, the southernmost point of Honshu, and moving north-northeast at a speed of 50 kph.

The season’s 21st typhoon brought more than 400 mm of rainfall in the 48 hours to Sunday evening in Wakayama, Mie and Kagoshima prefectures. The city of Shingu in Wakamaya saw over 700 mm of rainfall.

The weather agency warned of mudslides and swollen rivers as well as strong winds and high waves.

A male passerby died after scaffolding collapsed at a construction site in the city of Fukuoka, southwestern Japan, around 4:50 p.m. and police believe the accident was caused by strong winds. A gust of 87.1 kph was recorded around 5:20 p.m. in the city.

The man saw the scaffolding collapsing but was unable to escape, the police said.

In Yamaguchi Prefecture, western Japan, a 70-year-old man went missing after his boat suffered engine trouble and he dived into the sea attempting to grab a rope from another vessel. His body was later found on a beach about 3.3 km away.

In Toyohashi, Aichi Prefecture, an 85-year-old woman sustained minor injuries after she was knocked over by a gust of wind while walking on a sidewalk.

According to Japan Airlines Co. and All Nippon Airways Co. over 350 flights had been cancelled, affecting around 43,000 passengers. The two domestic airline companies also decided to cancel some 170 flights on Monday.

Train services were also disrupted, with some express trains departing and arriving Tokyo’s Shinjuku Station and Nagoya Station cancelled, train operators said.

The morning rush hours in the Tokyo metropolitan area as well as in central Japan centering on Nagoya are likely to be affected as services on some lines will be suspended from early Monday.

As the typhoon approached the Japanese archipelago, Toyota Motor Corp. decided to suspend operations at factories assembling vehicles in the prefectures of Iwate, Miyagi, Gifu, Shizuoka, Aichi, Mie and Fukuoka from Monday morning to evening, company officials said.

A number of local municipalities issued evacuation advisories for some residents. Some regional election boards decided to forgo vote counting for the day’s House of Representatives election until at least Monday due to transportation disruption caused by the typhoon.

Crown Prince Naruhito decided to delay his trip to Kochi Prefecture to join an agriculture promotion event from Monday morning to the afternoon as the planned flight from Tokyo’s Haneda airport was cancelled, the Imperial Household Agency said.

After rapidly passing the main island of Honshu, the typhoon is expected to be downgraded to an extratropical cyclone east of Hokkaido early Tuesday, the agency said.