Typhoon Jebi: Strongest Storm in 25 years pounds Japan
On Thursday Sep 4th, 2018, destruction ensued in the West of the country as Jebi hit major cities like Kyoto and Osaka where at least 11 people have died and more than 300 people have been injured by the worst storm to hit Japan in 25 years. More than 800 flights were suspended as well as scores of trains, and ferries, bullet train services connecting Tokyo and Hiroshima were also suspended but resumed early Wednesday, Sep 5th 2018, Factories and schools will remain closed for the day.
Thousands of passengers were also stranded at Osaka’s Kansai International Airport which is built on a manmade island after a tanker crashed into the bridge connecting it with the mainland. The passengers were evacuated by high-speed boats early Wednesday morning and were transferred to nearby Kobe Airport. On the other hand, Houn Maru, the 2591 tonne tanker was damaged as it kept slamming against the airport bridge, but its 11 crew members were unharmed.
It remains unclear when the airport which operates 400 flights a day will reopen but according to an unidentified source from the industry, it could stay closed for up to a week due to the massive water floods in its runways and basements.
Moreover, an estimated number of 1.2 million evacuation advisories were issued by officials and more than 1.6 million households remained without power in Osaka, Kyoto, and four nearby prefectures late on Tuesday.
Dramatic images and videos surfaced on social media showing waves crashing over sea defenses, roof panels and cars blown away by the wind. In one incident, several people were injured when part of the glass ceiling collapsed at Kyoto Station.
The storm made landfall on Shikoku island around noon on Tuesday local time and then moved across Japan’s largest main island of Honshu. The Typhoon is expected to weaken as it moves north.
Typhoons are common in Japan especially this time of the year, although they rarely cause serious damage. The storm came after a summer of extreme weather including floods and landslides in July which killed more than 200 people, and a record-breaking heat-wave that killed dozens of people and sent tens of thousands to the hospital.