Tue, Sep 10, 2019 - Page 5 News List

Storm kills one in Japan, disrupts transportation

FEROCIOUS FAXAI:A woman in her 50s was killed after strong winds pushed her across a street in Tokyo and into a wall, while a toppled golf fence injured another

AFP, TOKYO

A perimeter fence of a golf driving range lies on houses in Ichihara, Japan, yesterday after it was felled during Typhoon Faxai.

Photo: Kyodo / via Reuters

A powerful typhoon that battered Tokyo overnight with ferocious winds killed one person, police said yesterday, as halted trains caused commuter chaos and more than 100 flights were canceled.

Typhoon Faxai, packing record winds of up to 207kph, made landfall in Chiba just east of the capital before dawn, after barrelling through Tokyo Bay.

The transport disruptions unleashed by the storm came less than two weeks before the start of the Rugby World Cup and delayed the arrival of the Australia team.

Police confirmed that one person was killed in the storm, a woman in her 50s who was found dead in Tokyo.

Security camera footage showed that she was pushed across a street and into a wall by high winds, a police spokesman said.

Another woman in her 20s was rescued from her house in Ichihara, east of Tokyo, after it was partly crushed when a perimeter fence from a golf driving range fell on it. She was seriously injured.

“There was a huge grinding noise, I couldn’t figure out what it was. Then I looked out the window,” a neighbor told NHK.

More than 30 people were injured in the storm, the Kyodo news agency said, while authorities said that more than 2,000 people had taken refuge in shelters.

The strong winds downed trees and power lines, which left 910,000 people without electricity in the Tokyo area yesterday morning, including the entire city of Kamogawa, NHK said.

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

At least 10 homes were damaged in Shizuoka, with windows shattered and cars flipped on their sides, local media reported.

Elsewhere, scaffolding was ripped from buildings and protective sheeting hung to keep construction debris off the streets was crumpled and torn by the storm.

While the damage was relatively light given the wind speeds, it was enough to cause chaos in the capital’s notoriously busy morning commute.

The overland East Japan Railway train system was largely halted in the early hours of operation while tracks were checked for fallen trees and other debris.

The storm also caused delays and stoppages on subway lines, leading to massive crowds at some stations in the busy metropolitan area that is home to 36 million people.

The usually congested trains and major stations were even more crowded than usual once services resumed, with trains stopping temporarily and running erratically.

“I can’t go to work now, and I also had to contact my customers,” said Tsubasa Kikuchi, a 23-year-old real-estate worker, who had been waiting at Shimbashi Station for more than two hours. “This is troublesome.”

Trains and shuttle buses running to and from Narita International Airport were halted, with taxis the only options left to those arriving or hoping to fly out. More than 5,000 passengers were stranded at the airport.

By mid-Monday morning, the storm had moved offshore and was headed northeast away from Japan, back into the Pacific.

Additional reporting by Reuters and Bloomberg

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