Hundreds of domestic Japan flights cancelled as storm looms

Railway employees assist stranded passengers at the Hakata Shinkansen station in the city of Fukuoka on Aug 14, 2019.
Railway employees assist stranded passengers at the Hakata Shinkansen station in the city of Fukuoka on Aug 14, 2019.PHOTO: AFP

TOKYO (BLOOMBERG) - Hundreds of flights and bullet train services within Japan were cancelled as severe tropical storm Krosa bore down on the country's southwestern flank.

The transportation services were halted on forecasts for sustained winds of as much as 100kmh for a storm that is set to make landfall Thursday (Aug 15), according to the Japan Meteorological Agency.

The tropical storm could also drop as much as 100cm of rain Wednesday and Thursday in the Shikoku region, just as many Japanese visit their hometowns for the traditional summer holidays this week. Flood alerts were issued, including for some regions that last year suffered historic rainfall, flooding and landslides last that killed more than 100 people.

ANA Holdings Inc.'s All Nippon Airways is cancelling 105 domestic flights for Thursday and is considering calling off some international services.

Japan Airlines Co. will cancel 92 flights, following the cancellation of 62 flights Wednesday, which affected about 4,680 passengers. Japan Air Commuter Co. also grounded some of their flights.

West Japan Railway Co. said it is halting bullet train services tomorrow between Shin-Osaka and Kokura, Fukuoka, on concern the weather could interfere with operating safety. Kyushu Railway Co. said it will reduce its bullet-train operations tomorrow, while Shikoku Railway Co. said it is stopping all train services for Thursday to ensure safety.

Toyota Motor Corp. said its plants have not been affected because they are closed for the holiday, while Nissan Motor Co. and Honda Motor Co. were not able to comment immediately as their public relations offices were closed.

As much as 50cm of ain was forecast for the Kinki area, which includes Osaka, in the 24 hours starting at 6pm (5pm Singapore time) Wednesday, according to the weather agency. Tides may rise to as much as 10m in the Shikoku region and 9m in Tokai, Kinki and Kyushu, the agency said.