Global News

Powerful typhoon Trami batters Okinawa island, churns to Japan mainland

Powerful typhoon Trami batters Okinawa island, churns to Japan mainland

A powerful typhoon unleashed heavy winds and rain on southern Japan this weekend as it slowly marched northeast toward the nation's main islands Sunday morning.

A ship washes ashore at a port in Yonabaru, Okinawa Prefecture, on September 29, 2018, as Typhoon Trami approaches Japan's southernmost prefecture. Evacuation orders were issued for tens of thousands of people over a widespread area, including more than 250,000 people in the city of Tokushima on the island of Shikoku, the national broadcaster NHK reported.

Kansai International Airport in Osaka, which was temporarily crippled by a typhoon earlier in the month, was closed and plans to reopen on Monday, the airport said.

About 320 domestic and global flights into and out of Naha Airport were canceled for September 29.

The storm has disrupted air travel, with an unspecified number of flights suspended Sunday, according to public broadcaster NHK.

Trami was expected to make landfall Sunday morning in southern Kyushu. (JR Tokai) also chose to stop Kodama Shinkansen services from 5 p.m. Sunday, after halting services of the Nozomi and Hikari bullet trains earlier in the day.

East Japan Railway stopped all train services in and around Tokyo at 8:00 pm, shortly before the typhoon hit the Japanese capital.

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Outlying islands in the Okinawan chain were pounded by torrential downpours Saturday, causing damage to buildings and destroying vegetation throughout the region. The tropical cyclone is classified as a "very strong" typhoon, the second-highest on the Japan Meteorological Agency scale.

The storm's huge eye was forecast to move near the city of Osaka before churning across the Japanese archipelago, likely hitting areas still recovering from extreme weather that has battered Japan in recent months. And most local trains and bullet trains in central and western areas suspended operations on Sunday, operators West Japan Railway and Central Japan Railway said.

In total, 65 people have sustained minor injuries - mainly cuts from shattered glass - and one woman was reported missing in the Miyazaki region, which was drenched by record rainfall and suffered localised flooding.

"People in Okinawa are used to typhoons but we are strongly urging them to stay vigilant", he told AFP.

A NASA satellite image of Typhoon Trami.

Also in September, a magnitude 6.6 quake rocked the northern island of Hokkaido, sparking landslides and leaving more than 40 people dead.


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