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Powerful Typhoon Hits Japan After Summer of Killer Heat and Floods

Climate

A powerful typhoon made landfall in western Japan on Tuesday, bringing heavy rain and violent winds up to 135 miles per hour, reports say.

Typhoon Jebi, which translates to "swallow" in Korean, is classed as a "very strong" typhoon, the weather agency's chief forecaster Ryuta Kurora told AFP.


"This is (the strongest) since 1993."

Jebi prompted evacuation advisories for more than 1 million people, canceled hundreds of flights, toppled cars and trucks, tore roofs off of buildings and left 1.6 million households without power, Reuters reported.

At least six people have been killed and another 160 injured nationwide, according to the public broadcaster NHK.

The storm comes after a summer of record-breaking heat and historic flooding and mudslides that killed hundreds of people.

The typhoon first made landfall around noon in Shikoku, the smallest of Japan's major islands. It made a second landfall around 2 p.m. near the city of Kobe before veering off into the Sea of Japan in the evening.

Typhoon Jebi Google

An oil tanker unmoored by the storm crashed into a bridge that connects Kansai International Airport to the city of Izumisano in Osaka, NHK reported.

The bridge was damaged and closed, but the tanker was empty and none of its crew was injured, Reuters noted, citing the coast guard.

The airport, one of Japan's largest, is also completely shut down due to severe flooding, leaving about 3,000 travelers stranded.

In Kyoto, parts of a glass ceiling of the central train station fell into the atrium below, narrowly missing several people, Sky News footage showed.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe canceled a visit to the Kyushu region in the south in order to lead the government's response to the typhoon.

He urged citizens "to take action to protect your lives, including preparing and evacuating early," AFP reported.

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