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5,000 typhoon-stranded people being transported out of Kansai airport

  • September 5, 2018
  • , Kyodo News , 02:11 p.m.
  • English Press

Eleven people were killed and nearly 300 were injured when Typhoon No. 21 tore through western Japan on Sept. 4, stranding thousands at an inundated airport, destroying infrastructure and causing record high tides.


The typhoon knocked out power to 2.18 million households in eight prefectures, including Osaka, Kyoto and Hyogo, according to Kansai Electric Power Co.


As of 10 a.m. on Sept. 5, 540,000 households were still without electricity in the Kinki region.


Evacuation warnings were issued to 2.035 million people in 13 prefectures, including Osaka and Ishikawa. About 49,000 people in five prefectures, including Hyogo, were ordered to evacuate.


The typhoon, the strongest to hit Japan in 25 years, created tides that flooded Kansai International Airport on a man-made island in Osaka Bay. Strong gusts caused a tanker to drift and crash into an access bridge that connects the airport with the main island of Honshu.


Buses and ferries on the morning of Sept. 5 started transferring about 5,000 people who were forced to spend the night at the airport.


The airport remains out of service, and the operator did not immediately know when services would resume.


According to the Fire and Disaster Management Agency of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, 292 people were injured in 21 prefectures, including Osaka and Aichi.


A man in his 70s in Sakai, Osaka Prefecture, and a 70-year-old man in Yokkaichi, Mie Prefecture, died from falls from their roofs that they were apparently trying to fix during the storm.

Another elderly man was found on the balcony of a second-floor apartment in Toyonaka, Osaka Prefecture. He is believed to have fallen from an upper floor and was later pronounced dead.


In Higashi-Omi, Shiga Prefecture, a 71-year-old company president was killed when a warehouse owned by his company collapsed.


In 17 prefectures, 317 residential buildings were reported to have been damaged, including from inundation, or destroyed. Vehicles also flipped over in the wind gusts.

Many tourist destinations, shrines and temples were affected by the typhoon.


The strong winds knocked down a tree at Kasuga Taisha shrine in Nara, partially damaging a building that is a government-designated important cultural property.

In Kyoto, dozens of trees fell on the premises of Shimogamojinja shrine, a UNESCO World Heritage site, while a 100-meter section of a railing on Togetsukyo bridge, a picturesque spot in the city’s Arashiyama district, collapsed.


The extremely high tides caused flooding along the coast of the Kinki region, including the industrial area in Ashiya, Hyogo Prefecture, and Wakayama Prefecture.


According to the Osaka Coast Guard Office, a few dozen barges in Osaka Bay drifted away in the storm, while many containers kept at the port on Rokko Island in Kobe were lost at sea.

In Nishinomiya, Hyogo Prefecture, a number of yachts–and the pier they were moored to–were washed away.

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