Typhoon Cimaron leaves behind trail of damage in western Japan as it heads for Hokkaido

Kyodo

Typhoon Cimaron passed over the west of the country through to the Sea of Japan early Friday, leaving more than a dozen people injured and disrupting traffic before heading further north toward Hokkaido.

Downpours caused power outages affecting about 138,000 households in central and western Japan and grounded 60 flights to and from Osaka and Aichi prefectures Friday morning.

Although the typhoon was downgraded to an extratropical cyclone Friday afternoon, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and the weather agency urged people to remain on alert for strong winds, rain and landslides.

“Heavy rain is expected to continue including in areas the typhoon has already passed,” said Abe at a meeting in the disaster response headquarters on Friday morning. “I request further vigilance against rising rivers and mudslides.”

After making landfall on the island of Shikoku on Thursday night, Cimaron brought rainfall of 136 mm per hour at Kobe airport in Hyogo Prefecture. In Wakayama Prefecture, the Kumano River overflowed.

At least 13 people were injured after falling due to strong winds, according to the Fire and Disaster Management Agency. In Hyogo, a total of five vehicles — including a truck — were overturned by gusts on the Akashi Kaikyo Bridge, which connects the main island of Honshu with Awaji Island in Hyogo Prefecture. Three people were sent to hospital.

Also on the island, a 60-meter-high wind turbine erected in a park toppled over in the early hours of Friday as the typhoon passed over western Japan. No injuries were reported.

The wind turbine was built in 2002 to generate electricity for facilities at the park, which was created in memory of the Great Hanshin Earthquake that devastated parts of Hyogo Prefecture in 1995. It had been out of commission since lightning struck nearby in May last year, according to an official in Awaji city.

The giant windmill was found to have collapsed at around 6 a.m. Parts of it fell onto a road that runs alongside the park.

In the city of Nishinomiya, also in Hyogo, the roof of an apartment was blown off early Friday, with part of it landing in a parking space below.

No injuries were reported from these accidents.

Torrential rain is forecast through Saturday in northern Japan as Cimaron and Typhoon Soulik, another typhoon currently moving over the Korean Peninsula, both approach Hokkaido and the northern Tohoku region.

As of 9 a.m. Friday, Cimaron was about 200 km north-northwest of the city of Wajima, Ishikawa Prefecture, and traveling at a speed of 50 kph. It was packing winds of up to 126 kph with an atmospheric pressure of 990 hectopascals at its center.

In the 24-hour period through Saturday morning, 150 mm of rain is expected in Hokkaido and the central region of Tokai.