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Typhoon Trami makes landfall in western Japan; Kansai airport, trains out of service

The forecasted path of Typhoon Trami is shown as of 8 p.m. on Sept. 30, 2018. (Image from the Japan Meteorological Agency website)

TOKYO -- Typhoon Trami made landfall in the western Japan city of Tanabe at around 8 p.m. in Sept. 30, the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) said. The storm is bringing air, sea and train traffic to a standstill in many parts of the country with extremely high winds and torrential rains.

Kansai International Airport in Osaka Prefecture closed its runways from 11 a.m. on Sept. 30, suspending 330 flights. The runways are expected to be reopened at 6 a.m. on Oct. 1, airport officials said. Closure of the runways came after the facility was flooded in early September by another storm. Throughout Japan, more than 1,000 flights were cancelled because of the typhoon.

West Japan Railway Co. (JR West) suspended all services on the Shin-Osaka-Hiroshima section of the Sanyo Shinkansen Line on Sept. 30 after the westbound Nozomi No. 103 superexpress arrived at Hiroshima at 12:50 p.m. It also suspended all commuter trains in the Kyoto, Osaka and Kobe areas by noon, according to its website.

The number of trains operated on the Hiroshima-Hakata section on the bullet train line will be reduced on Sept. 30. All services on the Tokaido Shinkansen Line were suspended after around 5 p.m. on Sept. 30, according to Central Japan Railway Co.

East Japan Railway Co. said it will suspend all train services on its lines in the Tokyo Metropolitan area after 8 p.m.

The 24th typhoon of this year is forecast to bring storms, heavy rain and high waves to extensive parts of the country on Sept. 30 and Oct. 1."It is one of the strongest typhoons we have faced. Please stay inside to avoid high winds," said Yasushi Kajihara, who heads the forecast division at the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA).

Storm surges are forecast to hit coastal areas along the typhoon's route, including the bays of Osaka, Ise and Mikawa in western and central Japan.

As of 7 p.m. on Sept. 30, the typhoon was situated about 90 kilometers west of Cape Shionomisaki in the western Japan prefecture of Wakayama, and was moving northeast at 50 kilometers per hour. Its center had an atmospheric pressure of 950 hectopascals and it was packing winds of up to 45 meters per second (162 kph), with maximum gusts of 60 m/s (216 kph).

The typhoon is forecast to speed up and likely traverse eastern and northern Japan.

Over Sept. 30 to Oct. 1, the typhoon is expected to hit the Shikoku and Kinki regions in western Japan with strong winds of up to 45 m/s (162 kph), with maximum gusts hitting 60 m/s (216 kph). Trami will also likely bring strong winds of up to 40 m/s (144 kph) to the Tokai region in central Japan, and 35 m/s (126 kph) to the Kanto-Koshin region in eastern Japan, including Tokyo. The Tohoku and Hokuriku regions in northern Japan is expected to face winds of 30 m/s (108 kph) and the northernmost prefecture of Hokkaido with winds of 25 m/s (90 kph).

In the village of Tokara in southern Japan prefecture of Kagoshima, a record gust of 54.6 meters per second (196.5 kph) was observed.

High waves reaching 13 meters are expected to hit coastal areas of Shikoku, as well as the Kinki and Tokai regions, while the Izu Islands south of Tokyo are forecast to see 12-meter waves. Kanto shores are likely to face waves of 11 meters, according to the JMA.

Precipitation over the 24-hour period ending 6 p.m. on Oct. 1 is estimated to reach up to 300 millimeters in the Kinki, Tokai and Kanto-Koshinetsu regions, 250 millimeters in Hokuriku, 200 millimeters in Shikoku, 180 millimeters in Tohoku and 150 millimeters in the Chugoku and Hokkaido regions of western and northern Japan.

The JMA has underscored the need to be prepared for disruption of transportation services, power blackouts, and agricultural damage due to the strong winds, heavy rain and high waves. Many municipalities in western Japan have set up evacuation centers for tens of thousands of residents.

The disaster is affecting theme parks as well. Legoland Japan in Nagoya and Universal Studios Japan in Osaka are closed on Sept. 30.

The large and very powerful storm has left at least 23 people injured and more than 233,000 households without power in the southernmost prefecture of Okinawa.

(The Mainichi)

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