Typhoon Trami cripples Okinawa, threatens Japan's main islands

Oct 01, 2018, 00:10
Typhoon Trami cripples Okinawa, threatens Japan's main islands

A vessel tilts on one side as it runs ashore at a pier as a typhoon approached Yonabaru, Okinawa prefecture, southern Japan on Saturday.

The worst impacts of Trami will be on Saturday night across the southern Ryukyu Islands as Trami is expected to pass between Miyako and Okinawa.

Typhoon Trami, packing maximum gusts of 216 kilometres per hour near its centre, was forecast to hit the mainland early Sunday and cause extreme weather across the country into Monday.

Nationwide, authorities issued non-compulsory evacuation advisories to some 349,000 residents, while 300,000 households have lost power, according to public broadcaster NHK.

Some 700 people were evacuated to shelters in Okinawa and electricity was cut to almost 200,000 homes, public broadcaster NHK said.

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In its projected course are regions hit earlier this month by Typhoon Jebi, which caused landslides, floods and shuttered a major airport.

A woman in her 60s went missing in Miyazaki prefecture, southern Japan, after she was washed away in a paddy irrigation channel, according to NHK.

West Japan Railway says that from Sunday morning it will start suspending local train services in the Kyoto, Osaka and Kobe districts.

Images from the International Space Station posted on Twitter by astronaut Alexander Gerst on Tuesday showed Trami's enormous eye which he said was "as if somebody pulled the planet's big plug".

Shinkansen service between Tokyo, Shin-Osaka and Hiroshima stations will be halted Sunday afternoon as the typhoon is expected to affect the areas, bullet train operators said. Several houses were flooded or damaged and 38 people sustained minor injuries but no one was feared dead, local officials said.

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Sangyo Shinkansen bullet train service between Shin-Osaka and Hiroshima stations will also be suspended on September 30, with the last scheduled run from Shin-Osaka to Hiroshima to be the Nozomi No. 103 slated to leave Shin-Osaka Station at 11:25 a.m.

More than 1,000 flights have been cancelled, affecting over 100,000 passengers.

"We are strongly urging our residents to stay indoors because it is extremely unsafe to be outside now", Masaaki Tamaki, an official of Kagoshima's disaster management section, told AFP. The terminal building was closed for the day and the monorail as well as bus service to the airport were also suspended.

Osaka's Kansai International Airport (KIX) preemptively closed its airport until Monday, which has led to hundreds of flight cancellations.

Railway companies and airlines canceled services in central, eastern and western Japan.

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The incident, in an area that's home to the famous Phillips Academy Andover whose alumni include George W. Ed Markey and Elizabeth Warren of MA called for a congressional hearings on the explosions and fires.

Typhoon Jebi caused widespread flooding at least seven deaths in early September. It claimed 11 lives and shut down Kansai Airport.

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