8 killed as Typhoon Jebi wreaks havoc in Japan

Eight people were killed and some 150 others were injured after Typhoon Jebi (‘swallow’ in Korean) hit western Japan on Tuesday before heading north across Honshu island towards the Sea of Japan.

Jebi, described as the most powerful storm to hit Japan in 25 years, sent sea water into Kansai International Airport located on an artificial island in the middle of Osaka Bay off the Honshu shore.

The airport suspended operations as one of the runways, cargo storage and other facilities were flooded. Some 3,000 tourists were stranded. One of them was hurt by flying shards from a window broken in the storm.

Many passengers could not go to the mainland from the airport as traffic was suspended after the typhoon sent a 2,591-tonne tanker crashing into the connecting bridge. The bridge was damaged but all the 11 people in the tanker escaped without injuries.

The typhoon hit flights, ferries and train services.

Among the dead were a 71-year-old man trapped under a collapsed warehouse in Shiga, a prefecture to the east of Kyoto on Honshu Island, and another who fell from a roof in Mie in the Kansai region on Honshu. Six others died after being hit by flying objects.

The storm left more than 1.6 million homes without power in Osaka, Kyoto and four nearby prefectures. Schools, shops and factories remained closed in Osaka.

Tokyo escaped the eye of the storm but was set experience heavy rains and high winds.

The typhoon first made landfall on Shikoku Island before hitting Honshu.