Typhoon Jebi makes landfall in Japan, 600 flights cancelled

Typhoon Jebi makes landfall in Japan, 600 flights cancelled

Recent years have seen an increase in the number of typhoons directly hitting Japan, with at least four making landfall every year since 2014.

A tanker smashed into the bridge linking Kansai International Airport with the mainland, leaving about 5,000 people stranded at the facility on Tuesday as strong winds and high waves from Typhoon Jebi blasted western Japan.

The strong gusts ripped sheeting from rooftops, toppled trucks on bridges and swept a tanker anchored in Osaka bay into a nearby bridge running to the Kansai International Airport.

The NHK, Japan's national television channel, have said over 348 people were injured in the storm. That's the equivalent of a Category 1 hurricane in the Atlantic.

Almost 800 flights were cancelled, including several global flights departing and arriving at Nagoya and Osaka, along with ferries, local train services and some bullet train lines.

Meanwhile tides in some areas are being reported as the highest since a 1961 typhoon with flooding covering the runways at Kansai International Airport in Osaka. Several people were injured at Kyoto Station when part of a glass ceiling collapsed due to the strong wind.

In early July, torrential rains battered western Japan, triggering landslides and floods that left 226 dead and 10 missing - the country's deadliest weather-related disaster in more than three decades.

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The storm has paralyzed Japan's second-largest population center, with flights and trains canceled across the region and companies forced to temporarily close their plants.

At an emergency press briefing on Monday, an official from the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) was quoted as saying that the typhoon has been categorized as "very strong" by the agency and based on the strength of its top winds, it would be the strongest typhoon to make landfall in Japan since 1993.

The prime minister, Shinzo Abe, urged residents to "evacuate early" and cancelled a planned trip to Kyushu in Japan's south-west to oversee the government's response.

As it made its way north from the southern island of Okinawa, Jebi was already causing widespread disruption to flights and public transport.

In Osaka, the Universal Studios Japan theme park and US Consulate were both closed. ANA Holdings Inc. and Japan Airlines Co cancelled a total of 585 domestic and 13 worldwide flights, and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe cancelled a planned trip to Fukuoka in the southern island of Kyushu to deal with the disaster response.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe had urged people to evacuate early and ordered the government to take all necessary measures to protect residents of the affected areas after the weather agency warned of extremely unsafe conditions.

A police officer falls over in strong winds triggered by typhoon Jebi.

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