Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 21 September 2019

Strong typhoon makes landfall near Tokyo as homes lose power

Storm brings Japanese capital to a standstill as train services are suspended and flights cancelled

One of the strongest typhoons to hit Tokyo in recent years made landfall east of the Japanese capital on Monday, bringing record-breaking winds, stinging rain and a risk of rivers breaking their banks.

More than 100 flights were cancelled and scores of train lines were stopped, affecting the morning commute for millions in the greater Tokyo area, which has a population of about 36 million, as authorities warned it was dangerous to venture outside.

There were no immediate reports of deaths and only several minor injuries as of Monday morning, but about 84,000 houses lost power, national broadcaster NHK said.

Typhoon Faxai, a Laotian woman's name, hit the city of Chiba, just east of Tokyo, a little before dawn, bringing with it wind gusts of 207 kilometres per hour in Chiba, the strongest ever recorded there.

Four or five typhoons make landfall in Japan every year, but it is unusual for them to do so near Tokyo. NHK said Faxai was the strongest storm in the Tokyo area in several years.

In the neighbouring city of Ichikawa, winds were occasionally strong enough to shake buildings, while hard rain fell.

Streets normally busy with commuters walking or bicycling to the train station were deserted.

About 5,000 people were ordered to leave their homes, more than half in the tourist city of Kamakura just south of Tokyo, because of the danger of landslides.

But there were no immediate reports of major damage.

Parts of the Tokaido Shinkansen line were suspended, as was the Yamanote Line, a Tokyo commuter rail service.

Faxai, which is moving rapidly, is expected to head out to sea by about noon on Monday, although winds are expected to linger for a while.

Updated: September 9, 2019 08:35 AM

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