Powerful typhoon slams into western Japan, flooding airport

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A powerful typhoon has blown through western Japan, causing heavy rain to flood the region’s main offshore international airport and high winds to blow a tanker into a bridge, and leaving two people dead.

Jebi was the strongest typhoon to make landfall in Japan since 1993, according to Japan’s Kyodo News service.

The storm was heading north across Japan’s main island of Honshu towards the Sea of Japan.

High waves hit breakwaters at the port of Aki
High waves hit breakwaters at the port of Aki (Ichiro Banno/Kyodo News/AP)

A man in his 70s died apparently after being blown to the ground from his apartment in Osaka prefecture, while a 71-year-old man died after being buried underneath a storage unit that collapsed on him, officials said.

NHK national television said 126 people were injured in the storm.

In the hard-hit city of Osaka, high seas poured into Kansai International Airport, flooding one of its two runways and cargo storage and other facilities, forcing the airport to shut down, according to the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism.

Fallen containers near a port in Osaka
Fallen containers near a port in Osaka (Kota Endo/Kyodo News/AP)

The tanker’s 11 crew members were not injured and remained on board, according to a regional branch of Japan’s coastguard.

Elsewhere in Osaka, the Universal Studios Japan theme park and US Consulate were both closed.

Prime minister Shinzo Abe cancelled a scheduled trip to Kyushu, Japan’s southernmost main island, to oversee the government’s response to the typhoon, said chief cabinet secretary Yoshihide Suga.

The forecast track of Typhoon Jebi
The forecast track of Typhoon Jebi (Japan Meteorological Agency/AP)

More than 700 flights have been cancelled, according to Japanese media tallies. High-speed bullet train services were suspended from Tokyo west to Hiroshima.

The capital escaped relatively unscathed, with some intermittent squalls.

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