Published: Tue, September 04, 2018
Global Media | By Derrick Guzman

Typhoon Jebi sends 2,600-tonne tanker crashing into a bridge in Japan

Typhoon Jebi sends 2,600-tonne tanker crashing into a bridge in Japan

The strongest typhoon to hit Japan in 25 years tore across the west of the country Tuesday, killing three and injuring scores with violent winds and heavy rainfall.

The typhoon inundated the region's global airport and blew a tanker into a bridge, disrupting land and air travel and leaving thousands stranded.

Services from Tokyo to Osaka were running reduced operations, while more than 500 flights were cancelled.

It made landfall around midday in southwestern Japan near areas still recovering from deadly record rain earlier this summer and was moving fast on a northeast track, reaching the city of Kobe by early afternoon. The storm then crossed through southern and central Honshu.

Meanwhile, a 71-year-old man died after being buried underneath a storage unit that collapsed on him.

Japanese broadcaster TBS said six people have died in the severe weather, while 126 people have reportedly been injured.

A tanker parked in Osaka Bay nearby was also swept away, slamming into a bridge and slicing off a chunk from the structure.

The airport's runway and the basement floor of a terminal building have been flooded, according to airport officials.

The strong winds sent a 2,591-tonne tanker crashing into a bridge connecting Kansai airport, which is built on a man-made island in a bay, to the mainland.

NHK also showed footage of a 100m-tall ferris wheel in Osaka turning furiously in the strong wind despite being switched off.

In Osaka, roofs and scaffolding were peeled off buildings, Channel News Asia reports.

Evacuation advisories were issued for more than 1 million people as the wind and rain began picking up, the Fire and Disaster Management Agency said.

The prime minister, Shinzō Abe, urged residents to "evacuate early" and cancelled a planned trip to Kyushu in Japan's south-west to oversee the government's response.

According to the Japan Meteorological Agency, the typhoon was carrying strong winds of up to 100 miles per hour and gusts of up to 206 kph were recorded in Wakayama. The last "very strong" typhoon that made landfall in Japan was in 1993, Kyodo News reports.

Local media warned that the wind was strong enough to topple traditional-style wooden houses as well as power poles, and urged people in affected areas to avoid non-essential travel.

As you might imagine, travel has been strongly affected with more than 700 flights cancelled along with Shinkansen bullet train services between Tokyo and Hiroshima.

Typhoon Jebi is Pacific's 21st typhoon this season.

Jebi's course brought it close to parts of western Japan hit by rains and flooding that killed more than 200 people in July but most of the damage this time appeared to be from the wind.

Like this: