Typhoon Trami pounds Japan, dozens injured

A woman walks against the strong winds after Typhoon Trami hit the city of Kagoshima on Kyushu island | AFP

A powerful typhoon headed toward Tokyo late Sunday night after battering western Japan with heavy rain and strong winds, snarling air and land traffic, causing power outages, and forcing evacuations from areas still recovering from recent typhoons.

Trami is then 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 in Osaka, which was temporarily crippled by a typhoon earlier in the month, was closed and plans to reopen on Monday, the airport said.

At least 51 people were injured in southern Japan, it said.

NHK also said airlines had cancelled more than 390 flights, mainly those flying in and out of Okinawa.

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

East Japan Railway Co. shut down all of its train services in the Tokyo Metropolitan area around 8 p.m. Tokyo Metro announced it would suspend operation of some subway trains from 9 p.m.

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The storm cut power to about 200,000 homes on Japan's southern islands, and uprooted tress and overturned vehicles as it pummeled Okinawa city.

In early September, Typhoon Jebi, the most powerful storm to hit Japan in 25 years, brought some of the highest tides since a 1961 typhoon and flooded Kansai International Airport, taking it out of service for days.

Japan has been hit by a series of typhoons this year, including Typhoon Prapiroon, which brought downpours and caused floods and mudslides in western Japan. ChannelNewsAsia.com reported that Kansai Airport, serving the Osaka-Kyoto-Kobe metroplex, would shut down its two runways at mid-morning as a precaution.

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.

Fishermen in Kagoshima bay, where the typhoon is expected to make landfall, were already making preparations, tying down their boats as Trami approached - even as forecasters warned that another typhoon was following in its course.

"People in Okinawa are used to typhoons but we are strongly urging them to stay vigilant", he told AFP.

Railway companies and airlines canceled services in central, eastern and western Japan.

The typhoon is expected to retain all its force as it approaches western Japan, and will likely make landfall around the Kii Peninsula in Wakayama Prefecture on the evening of September 30.

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