6 Dead As Powerful Typhoon Hits East Japan

October 24 2017 – Powerful Typhoon Lan battered a wide area of Japan with heavy rain and strong winds, causing at least six deaths, injuring many others and disrupting vote counting for Sunday’s general election, authorities said today.

The typhoon made landfall on the central prefecture of Shizuoka around 3 a.m., causing floods and mudslides as it traveled along the Pacific coast of Japan’s main island of Honshu. It was downgraded to an extratropical cyclone around 3 p.m. while east of Hokkaido in northern Japan.

With an atmospheric pressure of 950 hectopascals at its center and winds of up to 198 kilometers per hour, the season’s 21st typhoon brought particularly heavy rainfall in the western region, dumping 800 millimeters in the 48 hours to Sunday evening in Wakayama Prefecture and 700 mm in Mie Prefecture, the Japan Meteorological Agency said.

The Uda River in Mie and the Yamato River in Nara Prefecture flooded.

Masao Hirashima, 63, died after scaffolding collapsed at a construction site in the city of Fukuoka, southwestern Japan, Sunday evening, with police attributing the accident to strong winds. A gust of 87.1 kph was recorded in the city.

Hirashima, who saw the scaffolding collapsing as he was passing by, was unable to get out of the way, the police said.

In Osaka Prefecture, Yoshie Bannai, 68, was found dead in a submerged car in the city of Kishiwada, while a man in his 80s was confirmed dead after falling and suffering an injury to his head in Osaka city.

Around 100 people were injured due to the typhoon, according to the Fire and Disaster Management Agency.

Japan Airlines Co. and All Nippon Airways Co. said they cancelled over 100 flights Monday, affecting over 25,000 passengers.

The Tokaido Shinkansen bullet train services between Tokyo and Osaka and some local trains in Tokyo and surrounding areas were disrupted during the morning rush hour.

Toyota Motor Corp. suspended operations at its vehicle assembly plants in Iwate, Miyagi, Gifu, Shizuoka, Aichi, Mie and Fukuoka prefectures for most of the day.

A number of local municipalities issued evacuation advisories for some residents. Some regional election boards decided to forgo vote counting for Sunday’s House of Representatives election until Monday due to the disruption to transport links caused by the typhoon.