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22 April 2024

Transport disruption as typhoon batters Japan


A strong typhoon Friday churned over parts of western Japan already hit by deadly flooding last month, but while transport links were disrupted there were few immediate reports of injury or damage.

Typhoon Cimaron made landfall late Thursday and passed over the Japanese archipelago overnight, bringing winds of nearly 200 kilometres per hour (134 mph) and dumping up to 600 millimetres of rain in 48 hours, according to the Japan Meteorological Agency.

Television pictures showed torrential rain, flooded streets and some structural damage with roof tiles blown off and one lorry overturned on a bridge by the high winds.

A partially damaged roof of an apartment building is seen after Typhoon Cimarron hit the area in Nishinomiya, western Japan. (AP)

The storm left nearly 100,000 households without power and forced airlines to scrap around 300 flights on Thursday and Friday. Bullet train services in the region were temporarily cancelled although they were running again on Friday morning.

The Fire and Disaster Management Agency said 13 people were injured while non-compulsory evacuation orders and advisories were issued to more than one million people in western Japan as of 5am local time (2000 GMT).

Officials warned citizens to be vigilant for flooding, landslides and high waves, with meteorological agency chief forecaster Ryuta Kurora saying the typhoon could bring "multiple hazardous phenomena."

The river Kumano in western Wakayama prefecture broke its banks, flooding fields and rice paddies, television footage showed.

Typhoon Cimaron was next spiralling towards Japan's northern island of Hokkaido, where it is expected to make landfall later Friday, although the wind speed has now halved.

Cimaron followed Typhoon Soulik, which passed through southern Japan earlier this week, bringing heavy rain to parts of the main southern island of Kyushu.

The typhoon is the latest weather front to batter Japan, which has also been sweating through a record and deadly heatwave. This followed devastating heavy rain in central and western parts of the country in July that killed over 200 people.

Strong typhoon barrels towards flood-hit western Japan

A strong typhoon hurtled towards western Japan on Thursday, with forecasters warning of heavy rains and landslides, including in areas hit by deadly flooding last month.

Typhoon Cimaron, with maximum gusts of 216 kilometres (133 miles) per hour, was around 280 kilometres southeast of the Goto islands at 2300 GMT Wednesday, the Japan Meteorological Agency said.

The typhoon is expected to make landfall late Thursday and head north through Friday morning, bringing intensifying rains and winds, the agency warned.

"Please remain vigilant for landslides, inundation of low ground, flooding of rivers, storms, and high and tidal waves," the weather agency said.

Some parts of central Japan could see up to 800 millimetres (31 inches) of rain in the 24 hours to noon Friday, it said.

The areas at risk include parts of the country still recovering from flooding and landslides caused by record rains in July that killed over 200 people.

The approach of Cimaron, whose name means wild ox according to the Hong Kong Observatory, comes as Typhoon Soulik was already bringing heavy rain to parts of the main southern island of Kyushu.