A powerful typhoon left two people dead, four missing and 108 injured Monday in Japan as it battered almost the whole of the country’s southwestern main island of Kyushu with violent winds, causing massive blackouts and disrupting transportation and some mobile networks.
A woman in her 70s in Kagoshima Prefecture died in a hospital after falling in a street gutter Sunday as she tried to evacuate to the house of an acquaintance, and a man in Saga Prefecture died after falling while reinforcing the second-floor windows of his house, according to local authorities.
About 23,000 people in 11 prefectures were taking shelter Monday afternoon, while some 200,000 households on the southwestern main island continued to be without electricity.
Even as Typhoon Haishen headed for the Korean Peninsula, the Meteorological Agency warned of torrential rain, strong winds and tidal surges in some areas, urging people across a wide area to remain vigilant.
In the village of Shiiba, Miyazaki Prefecture, where rainfall of over 400 millimeters was recorded on Sunday, police officers were searching for a woman in her 60s, her son in his 30s and two Vietnamese male interns who were reported missing after a mudslide struck a construction firm office, which was also used as a residence.
The woman’s husband in his 70s, who runs the company, suffered broken ribs, according to police.
Elsewhere in the region, a man in his 40s fractured his skull after falling from the roof of a garage in Yufu, Oita Prefecture, while four people suffered slight injuries at an evacuation center in Goto, Nagasaki Prefecture, after a window shattered, according to authorities.
Major mobile carriers NTT Docomo Inc., KDDI Corp. and SoftBank Corp. said their networks were disrupted in areas of Kyushu, as well as the western regions of Shikoku and Chugoku.
Kyushu Railway Co., which canceled its shinkansen and other train services, is planning to restart them Tuesday in areas where it has been confirmed that they can operate safely.
West Japan Railway Co. also halted its Sanyo Shinkansen services between Hiroshima and Hakata, while a number of flights were canceled. Tokaido Shinkansen services were temporarily suspended as well due to heavy rain, according to Central Japan Railway Co.
Many department stores, supermarkets and shops in Kyushu were closed temporarily.
Many people spent the night at evacuation shelters and hotels across Kyushu and the southern Japan islands of Okinawa Prefecture as they waited for the typhoon to pass.
“I had to hurry because I was told that (this evacuation center) would only accept 10 more people,” said Kazuko Hamada, 67, who had stayed in the shelter set up at a building near JR Kumamoto Station. She initially went to another evacuation facility but was turned away because it was full.
“I hope my house is all right,” she added as she prepared to head home.
A 46-year-old businessman who stayed at a hotel in the city of Fukuoka said, “Nobody will be in the office so I stayed at a hotel to respond to emergencies. It seems like there wasn’t severe damage, so I’m relieved.”
The weather agency said that the strongest gusts on record were observed at more than 30 locations as the typhoon passed. In the Nomozaki district of the city of Nagasaki gusts reaching a record 213.84 kilometers per hour were registered in the early hours of Monday.
On Fukue Island in the prefecture, rainfall of up to 88 mm per hour was recorded.
In the 24 hours to 6 a.m. Tuesday, rainfall of up to 300 mm was forecast in the Tokai region of central Japan, 250 mm in the island of Shikoku, and 200 mm in northern Kyushu and the Kanto-Koshin region covering Tokyo.
In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.