TOKYO – Nearly 900 flights in Japan were canceled, and 240,000 people were ordered to move to safety as a slow-moving typhoon crossed Japan’s main island of Honshu, not far from the ancient capital of Kyoto, cutting off power to tens of thousands of homes.
Typhoon Lan landed early Tuesday at the southern tip of Wakayama prefecture, about 400 kilometers (250 miles) southwest of Tokyo. It brought heavy rain and strong winds across a wide swath of central and western Japan as it moved north.
Authorities issued flood and landslide warnings as rivers rose to the tops of their banks, washing away parts of bridges. Tornadoes formed in several locations but did not cause significant damage.
By evening, the storm’s center had weakened to tropical storm strength and was approaching the Sea of Japan, though forecasters warned that heavy rains were still possible across a wide area.
It continued to move slowly, at around 15 kilometers per hour (9.3 mph), increasing the risk of flooding as rain pelted the same areas for an extended period. Central Japan received 585 mm (23 inches) of rain from 24 hours to 7:00 p.m. (1000 GMT).
Impact of Typhoon Lan on Utilities and Commerce
According to NHK public television, about two dozen people were injured, with one in critical condition. Authorities said they had set up evacuation centers in safe buildings and on high ground for residents from 11 prefectures who had been advised to seek shelter by the Fire and Disaster Management Agency.
In addition to the flight disruptions, the dangerous rain and wind forced the closure of some roads and the suspension of dozens of train services, although some roads had reopened by Tuesday evening.
The storm comes days after Typhoon Khanun hit Japan during its peak Obon holiday season when many factories close and city-dwellers return to their hometowns and villages.
According to utility reports, nearly 90,000 homes in the central and western regions have no power. Seven & I (3382.T) reported that approximately 210 7-Eleven convenience stores were closed for safety reasons.