Typhoon Lan makes landfall in Japan, thousands told to seek safety
High waves caused by Typhoon Lan break on the shores of Senjojiki, Shirahama town, Wakayama prefecture, Japan, August 14, 2023. Mandatory credit Kyodo/via REUTERS
Nearly 900 flights in Japan were cancelled and 240,000 people were ordered to move to safety as a slow-moving typhoon made landfall early on Tuesday, cutting off power to tens of thousands of homes.
Typhoon Lan, approaching from the Pacific Ocean, made landfall at the southern tip of Wakayama prefecture, some 400 km (250 miles) southwest of Tokyo, lashing much of central and western Japan with heavy rain and powerful winds.
Authorities issued flood and landslide warnings, and some tornadoes formed.
Authorities said they had set up evacuation centres in safe buildings and high ground for residents across 11 prefectures whom the Fire and Disaster Management Agency told to seek shelter.
As well as the disruption to flights, the dangerous rain and wind forced the closure of some roads and the suspension of dozens of train services.
The storm comes days after Typhoon Khanun hit Japan during its peak Obon holiday season, when many factories close and city-dwellers return to their home towns and villages.
Over the next 24 hours, the central Tokai region – home of Toyota Motor (7203.T) – was expected to get about 350 mm (13.8 inches) of rain, nearly three times the average rainfall for the month of August.
Television footage showed gushing, swollen rivers.
Homes and businesses suffered some water damage in Nara city and media reported several people were knocked down by the wind and hurt.
Power outages hit almost 90,000 households in central and western areas, utilities said. Seven & i (3382.T) said some 210 7-Eleven convenience store outlets were shut for safety reasons.
Typhoon Lan had sustained winds of 150 kph (93 mph) and was moving northwest across the west of the main island of Honshu at around 15 kph (9 mph). It was forecast to reach the Sea of Japan by early Wednesday and move north, according to Japan’s weather agency.