Tropical storm hits Japan's north-east, some flights and train services cancelled

The MODIS instrument aboard NASA's Aqua satellite saw wind shear affecting Tropical Storm Chanthu near Japan on August 15. PHOTO: NASA/NRL
NASA's Terra satellite captured this visible image of Tropical Storm Chanthu east of Japan on August 15. PHOTO: NASA GODDARD MODIS RAPID RESPONSE TEAM

TOKYO (AFP) - A tropical storm dumped rain on Japan's north-eastern coast on Wednesday (Aug 17), prompting cancellations of flights and train services as officials warned of possible landslides and flooding.

Tropical Storm Chanthu, packing gusts up to 126 kmh, was travelling along Japan's Pacific coast, bringing heavy rains, strong winds and high waves to the northeastern region, the Japan Meteorological Agency said.

"Due to continued heavy rain, risks of landslides are increasing," in the northeast, the agency said in a statement.

At least 800 households in Ibaraki prefecture, north-east of Tokyo, experienced power outages early on Wednesday due to the storm damage, Tokyo Electric Power said.

It caused some cancellations of train services in the northern region, including bullet trains.

Japan Airlines cancelled 14 domestic flights to and from northern Japan, including regional hubs such as Sendai.

Its rival All Nippon Airways said services were largely unaffected by the storm.

Japanese meteorologists had warned Tuesday that the storm, categorised as a typhoon in Japan but not by international weather authorities, could draw close to Tokyo during the Wednesday morning rush hour, but the storm turned north and clear skies returned to the capital.

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