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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 19 September 2018

Typhoon leaves flooding, four dead in Japan before moving out to sea

Hundreds of plane flights were cancelled and train services were disrupted

Policemen remove leaves from a drain on a flooded road in Tokyo on October 23, 2017. AFP
Policemen remove leaves from a drain on a flooded road in Tokyo on October 23, 2017. AFP

A rapidly weakening typhoon Lan made landfall in Japan on Monday, setting off landslides and flooding that prompted evacuation orders for tens of thousands of people, but then headed out to sea after largely sparing the capital, Tokyo.

Four people were reported killed, hundreds of plane flights cancelled, and train services disrupted in the wake of Lan, which had maintained intense strength until virtually the time it made landfall west of Tokyo in the early hours of Monday.

At least four people were killed, including a man who was hit by falling scaffolding, a fisherman tending to his boat, and a young woman whose car had been washed away by floodwaters.

In this photo, taken on October 23, 2017, a collapsed road is seen following torrential rain caused by typhoon Lan in Kishiwada, Japan. Kyodo / Reuters
In this photo, taken on October 23, 2017, a collapsed road is seen following torrential rain caused by typhoon Lan in Kishiwada, Japan. Kyodo / Reuters

Another casualty was left comatose by injuries and a man was missing, NHK public television said. Around 130 others suffered minor injuries.

Rivers burst their banks in several parts of Japan and fishing boats were tossed up on land. A container ship was stranded after being swept onto a harbour wall but all 19 crew members escaped injury.

Some 80,000 people in Koriyama, a city 200 kilometres north of Tokyo, were ordered to evacuate as a river neared the top of its banks, NHK said, but by afternoon water levels were starting to fall. Several hundred houses in western Japan were flooded.

"My grandchild lives over there. The house is fine, but the area is flooded, and they can't get out," one man told NHK.

A woman uses an umbrella to shield herself from strong wind generated by typhoon Lan in Tokyo, Japan, on October 23, 2017. Franck Robichon / EPA
A woman uses an umbrella to shield herself from strong wind generated by typhoon Lan in Tokyo, Japan, on October 23, 2017. Franck Robichon / EPA

Lan had weakened to a category 2 storm when it made landfall early on Monday, sideswiping Tokyo, after powering north for days as an intense category 4 storm, according to the Tropical Storm Risk monitoring site.

Lan is the Marshall Islands word for "storm".

By Monday afternoon the storm had been downgraded to a tropical depression and it was in the Pacific, east of the northernmost main island of Hokkaido, the Japan Meteorological Agency said.

Around 350 flights were cancelled and train services disrupted over a wide area of Japan, although most commuter trains were running smoothly in Tokyo.

Toyota Motor Corp cancelled the first shift at all of its assembly plants but said it would operate the second shift as normal.

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