Japan has issued evacuation advisories for more than a million people as it faces extremely strong winds and heavy rain consequence of typhoon Jebi’s landfall.
Jebi – whose name means “swallow” in Korean – was briefly considered a super typhoon and is the latest harsh weather to hit Japan this summer following rains, landslides, floods and record-breaking heat that killed hundreds of people.
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The storm made landfall on Shikoku, the smallest main island on Tuesday.
It raked across the western part of the largest main island, Honshu, near the city of Kobe, several hours later, heading rapidly north.
Tides in some areas were the highest since a typhoon in 1961, NHK public television said, with flooding covering the runways at Kansai International Airport in Osaka.
It is considered a category-3 typhoon, out of five, on the Saffir-Simpson scale.
Evacuation advisories were issued as the wind and rain began picking up, the Fire and Disaster Management Agency said.
Wind gusts of up to 208 km/h were recorded in one part of Shikoku, with forecasts as high as 216 km/h.
According to the country’s meteorological agency, most of the country remains in warning.
Typhoon #Jebi is making landfall in #Japan, bringing damaging winds, torrential rain, stormy seas and the risk of coastal flooding. There's recently been a 92 mph gust at Nankishirahama Airport on the south coast of Honshu pic.twitter.com/SBhsEHJIwm
— Met Office (@metoffice) September 4, 2018
More than 700 flights were cancelled, along with scores of ferries and trains, local media reported.
Shinkansen bullet train services between Tokyo and Hiroshima were suspended and Universal Studios Japan was closed.
Some 177,000 customers across western Japan lost power, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said.
Toyota Motor Corp said it was cancelling the night shift at 14 plants.
The capital, Tokyo, will be far from the centre of the storm but was set for heavy rains and high winds by the end of Tuesday.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe cancelled a scheduled trip to Kyushu, Japan’s southernmost main island, to oversee the government’s response to the typhoon, said Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga.
Damages are expected to put a further strain on Japan’s recovery budget as the country continues dealing with natural disasters.