Airport completely submerged as strongest storm in 25 years hits Japan

Typhoon Jebi path update The intense storm is currently located in the western Pacific Ocean

Typhoon Jebi path update The intense storm is currently located in the western Pacific Ocean

Jebi's predicted course could bring it close to parts of western Japan hit by deadly rains and flooding that killed more than 200 people in July.

Jebi crossed Japan after making landfall around the southern part of Tokushima prefecture shortly after noon (0300 GMT), about 600 kilometres south-west of Tokyo, the Meteorological Agency said. NHK said the toll in the storm stood at nine, with Jiji news agency saying five of the dead were in Osaka prefecture.

Winds of up to 209 kmph were logged at the airport on Tuesday afternoon and 3,000 people were stranded due to the floods there, authorities said.

The strong winds and high tides also sent a 2,591-tonne tanker crashing into a bridge which connects the airport to the mainland.

Almost 600 flights were cancelled, along with scores of ferries and trains, NHK public television said.

As it approached the archipelago, Jebi had winds of more than 100 miles per hour, the news agency writes.

Winds up to 216 kilometres per hour ripped off roofs, overturned trucks on bridges and swept a 2,500-ton tanker into a bridge leading to the airport, the region's main worldwide gateway and a national transport hub.

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Officials ordered more than a million people in affected areas to evacuate their homes amid warnings of high waves, flooding and mudslides.

High waves whipped up by the storm also flooded parts of the airport, where all flights were cancelled, and the severe weather caused power outages and travel chaos across much of the country.

In nearby Shiga prefecture, a 71-year-old man died when a storage building collapsed on him, and a man in his 70s died after falling from a roof in Mie, officials said.

The typhoon first made landfall on Japan's southwest island of Shikoku and then again near Kobe on Honshu. (Kentaro Ikushima/Mainichi Newspaper via AP) Kansai International Airport is partly inundated following a powerful typhoon in Izumisano, Osaka prefecture, western Japan, Tuesday, Sept. 4, 2018.

Kansai airport is critical for business as well, exporting 5.6 trillion yen ($50 billion) worth of goods, mostly computer chips, electronics parts and other machinery, primarily to Asian destinations, such as China and South Korea, but also to the US and Europe, according to Osaka Customs. Train services were cancelled from Tokyo west to Hiroshima.

The twenty-first typhoon of the season in Asia, whose winds approached 160 km/hour in its center and 220 km / h in its periphery, crossed the archipelago from the southwest to the north, where it was losing strength until becoming a storm.

Scattered reports suggest there have been mild injuries as the typhoon made landfall on Tuesday and incredible images from Osaka showed the extent of the damage caused by the extremely strong winds and heavy rain.

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