Date
20 September 2019
Collapsed steel advertising boards lie in an area in Tokyo on Monday after the Japanese capital was lashed by Typhoon Faxai. Photo: Reuters
Collapsed steel advertising boards lie in an area in Tokyo on Monday after the Japanese capital was lashed by Typhoon Faxai. Photo: Reuters

Strong typhoon winds lash Tokyo area, causing transport chaos

One of the strongest typhoons to hit the Japanese capital in recent years made landfall just east of Tokyo on Monday with record-breaking winds and stinging rain, Reuters reports.

More than 130 flights were canceled and scores of train lines were closed for hours, snarling the morning commute for millions in a greater Tokyo area that has a population of some 36 million, the report said.

Authorities warned that it is dangerous to venture outside.

Typhoon Faxai, a Laotian woman’s name, slammed ashore in the city of Chiba, just east of Tokyo, a little before dawn, bringing with it wind gusts of 207 kilometers per hour in Chiba, the strongest ever recorded there, national broadcaster NHK said.

There were no immediate reports of deaths and only one serious injury, a woman in her 20s who had to be rescued from her house after it was partly crushed when a metal pole from a golf driving range fell on it.

Some minor landslides occurred and a bridge was washed away, while as many as 930,000 houses lost power at one point, NHK said, including the entire city of Kamogawa.

“I’ve never seen a situation like this, the whole city without power,” an official told NHK.

The storm had headed out to sea by midmorning but authorities warned that heavy rains are likely to continue for some hours, including in Fukushima, the site of the world’s worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl.

Around four to five typhoons make landfall in Japan every year, but it is unusual for them to do so near Tokyo, Reuters noted.

According to NHK, Faxai was the strongest storm in the Tokyo area in several years.

Trees were uprooted throughout the metropolitan area, some falling on train tracks to further snarl transportation.

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