Japan struggles to deal with blackout after deadly Typhoon Faxai

Nearly half a million homes left without power as of Wednesday morning after typhoon pummelled Tokyo and nearby regions.

Japan - Typhoon Faxai
Japan is struggling to restore power in the wake of Typhoon Faxai [Jiji Press/AFP]

Japanese utility company, Tokyo Electric Power (Tepco), is struggling to restore power to nearly half a million homes after blackouts caused by Typhoon Faxai, while at least two people have died from heatstroke because of a lack of electricity, media said on Wednesday.

Typhoon Faxai hit the capital and surrounding regions with destructive winds of up to 216km/h in the early hours of Monday morning, causing transport chaos. At least three people were killed and dozens injured in the storm.

National broadcaster NHK said two other people in Chiba prefecture east of Tokyo had died from heat stroke because there was no power to turn on the air conditioning once temperatures began to rise after the typhoon.

Tepco, Japan’s biggest power provider, said it might not be able to restore power to all households on Wednesday, Kyodo News said, citing the company.

“As a result of the restoration work, the number of households without power becomes approximately 456,100 as of 10:00 am [01:00 GMT],” Tepco said in a Twitter post.

“We will continue making every effort to restore power as quickly as possible.”

The typhoon also affected the country’s railway system, with 2.7 million passengers on Tokyo’s JR East affected by cancellations and delays on Monday.

According to the Japan Times, some of the train services did not resume until Tuesday, and an estimated 13,000 people were left stranded at the Japanese capital’s international airport, Narita.

More than 100 flights were also cancelled on Monday as the typhoon battered Tokyo and its surrounding prefectures.

An estimated two dozen typhoons hit Japan every year, according to the Japan Meteorological Agency.

In 2018, Typhoon Jebi, the strongest typhoon in 25 years, hit the southern Shikoku Island, with strength comparable to Typhoon Faxai.

Faxai - Japan
More than 13,000 people who arrived at Narita Airport on Tuesday were stranded after train operations were suspended [Kyodo/Reuters]
Source: Al Jazeera, News Agencies