National

Typhoon Krosa disrupts transportation ahead of expected Thursday landfall in Kyushu

Kyodo, JIJI, Staff Report

Airlines and railway operators announced reduced services in regions near the path of Typhoon Krosa on Wednesday, despite a post-holiday transport rush, as the weather agency warned the powerful storm was set to make landfall in western Japan the following day.

The Meteorological Agency said the typhoon had weakened somewhat from the day before, but could still bring rainfall of over 1,200 millimeters in some eastern and western areas facing the Pacific Ocean. The agency also warned of landslides and flooded rivers.

In a valley in the area of Kusumachi, Oita Prefecture, a group of 18 people were stranded after flood waters from a nearby river submerged their cars. They escaped to higher ground on foot and were waiting for rescuers as of Wednesday night, according to NHK.

Japan Airlines Co. and All Nippon Airways Co. said they would cancel a total of some 100 flights Wednesday to and from Kyushu.

The same day, West Japan Railway Co., also known as JR West, said it would suspend almost all of its shinkansen bullet train services. Operations between Shin-Osaka and Kokura were set to be canceled while those on Kyushu between Kokura and Hakata would be significantly reduced, the company said.

The railway operator made the rare advance announcement in the middle of the Bon holiday season, during which numerous city residents return to their hometowns to see family members.

On Tuesday the firm had announced the likely stoppage of shinkansen operations on the Shin-Osaka-Kokura section so that travelers could make other arrangements.

The Japan Coast Guard is also gearing up for the coming powerful typhoon. This year the coast guard is requiring ships of 100 tons or more to keep a distance of 5.5 kilometers or more from Kansai International Airport in Osaka Prefecture, starting 3 p.m. on Wednesday.

In September 2018, a 2,591-ton tanker, propelled by the super-strong winds of a powerful typhoon, crashed into an access bridge connecting the mainland to the artificial island that hosts the airport. The accident heavily damaged the bridge, and thousands of passengers were trapped at the facility overnight.

The 10th typhoon of the year is expected to cut across the mainland after making landfall, and reach the Sea of Japan Thursday night before heading toward Hokkaido or the Tohoku region.

At 8 p.m. Wednesday, the typhoon was traveling north at a speed of 20 kph about 180 km east of Tanegashima Island in Kagoshima Prefecture, according to the Meteorological Agency.