Seven dead as Typhoon Lan lashes Japan

Kyodo

Typhoon Lan blazed through Tokyo on Monday morning after making landfall along the central Pacific coastline earlier in the day, leaving seven people dead as it pummeled Honshu with heavy rain and strong winds.

Mass transport was disrupted as the storm approached the Japanese archipelago, with railways canceling or reducing morning train runs and airlines suspending flights.

With an atmospheric pressure of 950 hectopascals at its center and packing winds of up to 198 kph, the season’s 21st typhoon brought particularly heavy rain to western Japan as it approached, dumping some 800 mm in the 48 hours through Sunday evening in Wakayama Prefecture, and 700 mm in Mie, the Meteorological Agency said.

On Monday, runs on the Tokaido Shinkansen Line were disrupted between Tokyo and Osaka, while Japan Airlines Co. and All Nippon Airways Co. canceled more than 100 flights, affecting over 25,000 customers.

Manufacturers also took precautions.

Toyota Motor Corp. suspended operations Monday at vehicle factories in Iwate, Miyagi, Gifu, Shizuoka, Aichi, Mie and Fukuoka prefectures from morning to evening, company officials said.

Lan made landfall in Shizuoka Prefecture at around 3 a.m., causing floods and mudslides as it swept over Honshu. After passing over the Tokyo metropolitan area, it proceeded to batter the Pacific coastline of Tohoku and was downgraded to an extra-tropical cyclone around 3 p.m. while east of Hokkaido.

On Sunday, Masao Hirashima, 63, died after scaffolding collapsed at a construction site in Fukuoka around 4:50 p.m. The police said the accident was likely caused by strong winds. A gust of 87.1 kph was recorded at around 5:20 p.m. in the city.

In Yamaguchi Prefecture the same day, a 70-year-old man disappeared after his boat developed engine trouble and he dived into the sea to grab a rope from another vessel. His body was later found on a beach about 3 km away.

In Osaka Prefecture, Yoshie Bannai, 68, was found dead Monday in a submerged car in Kishiwada, while a man in his 80s was confirmed dead after injuring his head in a fall in the city of Osaka.

In Mie Prefecture, a 29-year-old man was found dead Monday in a submerged car on the side of a flooded road, and an 82-year-old Wakayama man died after being pulled unconscious from a house hit by a mudslide. The Uda River also overflowed, leaving some houses flooded.

In neighboring Shiga, a road collapsed, creating a 10-meter-deep gash that stretched for about 17 meters.

Strong winds were observed in much of the country, including the town of Nagi, Okayama Prefecture, which logged a gust of 164.5 kph. Nearby Kobe registered gusts of up to 143.3 kph.

The storm caused several municipalities issued evacuation advisories Sunday, and some were still in effect on Monday. It also prompted some regional election boards to delay ballot-counting procedures for the Lower House election. By Monday, counting had resumed in all of the areas.

In the meantime, Crown Prince Naruhito delayed his trip to Kochi Prefecture for an agricultural event Monday after his flight from Tokyo’s Haneda airport was canceled, the Imperial Household Agency said.