Two dead as powerful typhoon strikes Japan

Residents being evacuated by boat from an inundated house in Oita, southern Japan, as Typhoon Talim triggered heavy rain on Sunday.
Residents being evacuated by boat from an inundated house in Oita, southern Japan, as Typhoon Talim triggered heavy rain on Sunday.PHOTO: REUTERS

Domestic flights cancelled, bullet trains stop running; warning of possible landslides

TOKYO • A powerful typhoon ripped through the Japanese archipelago yesterday, leaving two people dead and three others missing, officials and news reports said.

Typhoon Talim made landfall on Sunday in Kyushu, the southern- most of Japan's four main islands, packing winds of up to 162kmh, said Japan Meteorological Agency.

The storm, moving north-east along the country, reached the nation's northern island of Hokkaido by yesterday morning, dumping torrential rain and paralysing domestic transportation on its way, reported Agence France-Presse.

A 86-year-old woman was found dead late on Sunday after her house was hit by a landslide in Kagawa, western Japan, while a 60-year-old driver was found dead in his car which sank under a swollen river in Kochi, also in western Japan, local police said.

Public broadcaster NHK said three people were missing in western Japan, and 38 people had been injured in storm-related accidents.

At least 116 domestic flights were cancelled yesterday because of strong winds. Japan Airlines said on its website that many flights to Kyushu, Shikoku and the central regions had been cancelled.

Some bullet train services were also suspended in northern Japan because of electricity outages and heavy rain, reported Bloomberg news agency. The authorities have issued warnings of rainstorms, high seas, possible landslides and flooding across the nation, as the typhoon maintained its strength.

The meteorological agency issued warnings of potential landslides and flooding.

Although the typhoon was expected to weaken into an extra-tropical depression, heavy rain and strong winds are expected to continue, reported Kyodo news agency.

Talim had battered the southern Okinawan island chain before it hit Kyushu, causing the most rainfall seen over a 24-hour period in 50 years in the city of Miyako.

About 110mm of rain in one hour was recorded in Oita prefecture in Kyushu, with some areas receiving more in one day than is typical for an entire month, NHK reported .

About 1,200 people remained stranded in the Oita cities of Saiki and Tsukumi as flooding and mudslides cut off some roads, according to Kyodo news agency.

Last week, Talim forced more than 200,000 people to evacuate in neighbouring China.

Big storms regularly strike Japan, with 22 people killed when Typhoon Lionrock pounded the country last September.

Last month, Typhoon Noru killed two people and injured 51.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 19, 2017, with the headline 'Two dead as powerful typhoon strikes Japan'. Print Edition | Subscribe