Typhoon Jebi Hits Japan, Killing At Least 11 People

Sep 4, 2018
Originally published on September 5, 2018 1:58 am

Updated at 2:30 a.m. ET Wednesday

A powerful typhoon made landfall in western Japan, causing extensive damage and multiple deaths.

At least 11 people have died as a result of Typhoon Jebi, the most powerful storm to hit the country in a quarter century, according to Japan's Kyodo news service. The Japan Times newspaper puts the number of injured at 110.

Meanwhile, thousands of people have been stranded at Kansai International Airport, located on an artificial island in Osaka Bay, after flooding and damage to the bridge leading to the airport.

By early Wednesday Japan Time, Jebi had been downgraded to a tropical storm, with sustained winds of 65 miles per hour and gusts up to 80 mph.

Based on its wind speeds, when Jebi made landfall, it was classified as "very strong" by Japan's weather agency. The last "very strong" typhoon hit Japan in 1993, according to Kyodo.

As it approached the archipelago, Jebi had winds of more than 100 mph, the news agency writes.

Among the 10 or more deaths reported so far include a man killed in the collapse of a warehouse facility, and a man who fell from the second story of his house, Japan Times reports.

More than 1.6 million customers lost power in the storm, NHK reports, and some parts of central and western Japan are under evacuation advisories.

In Osaka, roofs and scaffolding were peeled off buildings, Channel News Asia reports. Photos and video show vehicles that were blown off course or knocked on their side.

Video captured in Kyoto shows the glass ceiling of Kyoto Station breaking or partially collapsing, sending chunks of glass falling toward commuters below.

Kansai International Airport, a major transportation hub, has been entirely shut down. Runways were flooded — "several planes were submerged up to their engines," NHK reports, citing officials at Japan's transport ministry.

An anchored oil tanker in Osaka Bay, caught up by the storm, was sent crashing into the bridge that connects the airport to the main island of Honshu.

Eleven crew members were stranded on the tanker, NHK reports, and only two of them could be rescued before rescue operations "had to be called off because of a ruptured gas pipe."

The bridge was damaged in the accident, leaving thousands of people trapped inside the airport's terminal — Kyodo reports 5,000 stranded travelers and staff.

Flights won't be resuming until Wednesday evening at the earliest, according to Japan Times.

After passing over Osaka and Kyoto, Jebi began raking along the western edge of Japan as it traveled north, according to the Japan Meteorological Agency.

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