A powerful typhoon landed near Tokyo early Monday morning, killing at least three people and injuring about 40 as well as affecting hundreds of thousands of rush-hour commuters in the metropolitan area at the start of the week.
East Japan Railway Co., also known as JR East, had suspended all lines in the greater Tokyo area as Typhoon Faxai made landfall near the city of Chiba, shortly before 5 a.m., as one of the strongest typhoons on record in the Kanto region.
A woman in her 50s in Setagaya Ward, Tokyo, was confirmed dead after a security camera captured her being blown off her feet and into a wall, according to police.
An 87-year-old man died in the town of Otaki in Chiba Prefecture after being struck by a tree that fell as he tried to clear storm debris nearby.
At the Yokosuka base of the Maritime Self-Defense Force in Kanagawa Prefecture, a 47-year-old company employee who was working to fix a power generation unit was found collapsed and later confirmed dead at a hospital. Police believe he was blown off balance by a strong gust in the typhoon and may have fallen from a terrace on the second floor.
The weather agency had warned that central and eastern Japan, including Tokyo, could see record winds, forcing airlines to cancel flights and some major roads to be closed. Authorities issued voluntary evacuation warnings to more than 390,000 people, as forecasters cautioned the rain and wind could reach “record” proportions.
A woman in her 20s in Ichihara, Chiba Prefecture, sustained serious injuries after pillars, several stories high, holding up netting around a golf practice range toppled over and hit nearby homes, authorities said.
More than a dozen people were injured in Tateyama in the prefecture and its vicinity, and another 10 in the city of Chiba.
At least seven people were hurt in Ibaraki Prefecture, six others in Kanagawa Prefecture, five in Shizuoka Prefecture and one in Tokyo, local authorities said.
JR East resumed some services later in the morning, after major stations were swamped by commuters.
As of 3 p.m., the season’s 15th typhoon, was located over the Pacific off northeastern Japan after passing through the Kanto region, and traveling northeast at 30 kilometers per hour some 140 km east of the city of Iwaki, Fukushima Prefecture.
It had an atmospheric pressure of 975 hectopascals at its center and was packing winds of up to 180 kph, according to the Meteorological Agency.
The weather agency warned of mudslides and flooding after the heavy rain, as well as a summer-like heat wave nationwide due to the warm air brought along with the typhoon. The mercury reached 37 degrees Celsius in Nerima Ward in Tokyo and 37.9 degrees in Kuwana, Mie Prefecture.
Winds of up to 209 kilometers per hour were reported at Kozu Island on the Izu chain, 207 kph at the city of Chiba, and 207 kph at Haneda airport, all breaking records, according to the Meteorological Agency.
Some 934,900 households in seven prefectures including Chiba, Kanagawa and Shizuoka were believed to have been temporarily without power during the course of the storm, and Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc. said power would be unlikely to return Monday in some areas, including south of Chiba prefecture where typhoon damage is extensive.
In the city of Kimitsu in Chiba Prefecture, two steel towers for a transmission line that provides power to about 100,000 customers were said to have collapsed.
Sony Corp. said Monday that a plant in Kisarazu, Chiba, belonging to its subsidiary, which manufactures the PlayStation 4 game console, has stopped running due to the blackout.
Employees at the factory run by Sony Global Manufacturing & Operations Corp. were told to stand by at home. The plant also produces contactless IC cards that carry Sony’s Felica wireless technology, widely used for mobile payments.
Central Japan Railway Co., also known as JR Central, started bullet train services at around 7:40 a.m. after removing debris between Tokyo and Odawara stations on the Tokaido Shinkansen Line. The company had reduced services between Tokyo and Shin-Osaka and moved up the schedule for the end of operations the previous day.
A tree fell onto an overhead power line between Shinagawa and Osaki stations in Tokyo and an alarm at a railway crossing was also toppled by wind on the Yokosuka Line, according to JR East.
At Tokyo Station, people lined up as the Tokaido Shinkansen resumed operations. At Hamadayama Station on the Inokashira Line in the capital’s Suginami Ward, people waiting for train operations to resume made lines more than 100 meters long outside the station at 9 a.m.
According to NHK, entry into Ikebukuro Station was temporarily restricted as of 10:45 a.m.
Most railway services and subway operations in the metropolitan area had resumed normal services by the afternoon, while most flights departing from and arriving at Haneda Airport were resumed Monday morning after many were canceled from Sunday evening.
Television footage of a gasoline station in Tateyama, south of Tokyo on the Boso Peninsula, showed a huge roof had collapsed crushing pumps underneath.
In the 24 hours through early Monday morning, the typhoon brought more than 440 millimeters of rainfall to the city of Izu in Shizuoka Prefecture, with as much as 109.0 mm falling in one hour in the early morning.
In the 24 hours through 6 a.m. Tuesday, the typhoon was forecast to bring 150 mm of rainfall to the northeastern Tohoku region.
It was the ninth time for a typhoon to make a landfall in Chiba Prefecture since Japan began taking records. The last such landfall was in August 2016.
Ahead of the typhoon’s arrival, JR East announced at noon Sunday that services for the following day would be canceled given the expected major impact of the storm and the time needed for safety checks before restarting operations.
It was the second time for the firm to announce the likelihood of suspended services before a typhoon hit, after first doing so on Sept. 30 last year.
Typhoon Faxai comes just as teams begin arriving for the Rugby World Cup, which kicks off on Sept. 20.
The French team managed to sneak in just ahead of the typhoon and reach their training camp near Mount Fuji.
However, the Australian Wallabies squad found their preparations disrupted with the storm delaying their scheduled arrival.