Six dead as Japan hit by strongest typhoon in 25 years

By | September 6, 2018

At least six people have reportedly died after Japan was hit by its strongest typhoon in 25 years.

More than one million people have been urged to evacuate their homes as Typhoon Jebi brought winds of up to 135mph to parts of the country.

High waves triggered by Typhoon Jebi are seen at a fishing port in Aki, Kochi Prefecture, western Japan
Image: High waves hit breakwaters at a port of Aki, western Japan

Tens of thousands of buildings have been left without power, with more than 700 flights cancelled along with scores of train and ferry services.

Japan’s weather agency warned of possible landslides, flooding, high tides, lightning and tornadoes across a swathe of the country.

Japanese broadcaster TBS said six people have died in the severe weather, while 126 people have reportedly been injured.

A man in his 70s was killed after apparently being blown to the ground from his apartment in Osaka prefecture.

Boats float along with debris during Typhoon Jebi in Nishinomiya City, Hyogo Prefecture, Japan
Image: The severe storm brought debris floating in Nishinomiya city

Meanwhile, a 71-year-old man died after being buried underneath a storage unit that collapsed on him.

Evacuation advisories were issued for 1.19 million people in western and central Japan, with another 16,000 people issued with stronger but non-mandatory evacuation orders.

In Kyoto, debris from the typhoon hit the glass ceiling of the central train station, causing glass to fall into the atrium below, narrowly missing several people. 0:29
Video: Near miss as typhoon debris hits glass roof

A tanker anchored in Osaka Bay was swept into a bridge and Kansai international airport was partially flooded by high waves whipped up by the storm.

Universal Studios Japan in Osaka shut down along with factories for several large manufacturers, including car maker Toyota.

High waves hit breakwaters at a port of Aki, Kochi prefecture, Japan
Image: The typhoon is the strongest to hit Japan in 25 years

Parts of a train station roof also collapsed in Kyoto following the stormy weather.

Weather forecaster Ryuta Kurora described the typhoon as “very strong”, adding: “This is (the strongest) since 1993.”

Intense high wind from Typhoon Jebi blows in Nishinomiya City, Hyogo Prefecture, Japan
Image: High tides were whipped up by the storm in Nishinomiya city

As the storm approached, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe called a disaster response meeting and cancelled a trip to Kyushu, the country’s southernmost main island.

“I urge the Japanese people to take action to protect your lives, including preparing and evacuating early,” he said.

Heavy rain and winds caused by Typhoon Jebi hit the city of Tokushima
Image: Heavy rain and winds hit the city of Tokushima

He also instructed his cabinet to “take all measures possible”.

Jebi has a similar trajectory to Typhoon Cimaron which made landfall on 23 August, disrupting transport but causing limited damage and few injuries.

Nagoya port officers close the breakwater gates in Nagoya as Typhoon Jebi hit western Japan
Image: Nagoya port officers close breakwater gates in preparation

Some of the areas affected are still recovering from devastating record rains that killed at least 200 people over the summer.

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The flooding and landslides proved so deadly in part because many people did not heed evacuation warnings, which are not mandatory.

Since the disaster, authorities have urged people to take the warnings more seriously and prepare to leave home immediately when they are issued.

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