Hundreds of flights cancelled as typhoon approaches Japan

A large and very powerful Typhoon No. 24 was churning toward western Japan on September 29 and whipping up winds of more than 90 kph that caused a power outage affecting one-third of households in southernmost Okinawa Prefecture.

Churning north across Okinawa on Saturday, Trami is predicted to move across the islands of Kyushu and the main island of Honshu on Sunday, a path similar to that taken by typhoon Jebi early in September.

Japan issued evacuation orders and warnings to about 700,000 households in southern and western Japan.

Kansai International Airport, which serves the greater Osaka area in western Japan, closed two runways from 11am on Sunday through to 6am on Monday to prepare for the possible impact of Trami, according to a statement on its website.

Scores of flights serving major airports on Japan's main islands had already been canceled.

Airlines cancelled or plan to cancel more than 930 flights, public broadcaster NHK said.

It was then expected to move in a northeasterly direction through eastern and northern Japan on October 1.

The typhoon has already disrupted transportation services in southern Japan including Okinawa Prefecture.

Tokyo Metro announced it will suspend operation of some subway trains from 9 p.m.

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East Japan Railway stopped all train services in and around Tokyo at 8:00 pm, shortly before the typhoon hit the Japanese capital.

Outlying islands in the Okinawan chain, some 1,000 km southwest of Tokyo, were being pounded by heavy rain and high tides a day before an Okinawan gubernatorial election on Sunday.

The typhoon is projected to hit regions ravaged earlier this month by Typhoon Jebi, which caused landslides and floods and temporarily shuttered Kansai International Airport.

The airport also was closed for this latest typhoon.

The season's 24th typhoon gradually picked up speed as it traveled through western Japan, moving at 60 kilometers per hour with an atmospheric pressure of 960 hectopascals at its center and packing winds of up to 216 kph, according to the Japan Meteorological Agency.

Seventeen people suffered minor injuries in storm-related accidents in Okinawa and several houses suffered some damage but no one was feared dead, local officials said.

"We are urging our residents to stay vigilant against the typhoon", he told AFP.

Deadly record rains also hit western Japan earlier this year and the country sweltered through one of the hottest summers on record.

  • Sonia Alvarado