Typhoon Jebi Leaves 11 People Killed, 600 Injured in Japan

Waves crash off the coast of Shirahama in Wakayama Prefecture on Monday afternoon

Waves crash off the coast of Shirahama in Wakayama Prefecture on Monday afternoon. | KYODO

Japan issued evacuation advisories for more than 1 million people and cancelled hundreds of flights in the face of extremely strong winds and heavy rain as typhoon Jebi made landfall on its west coast on Tuesday.

Parts of the runway were reported flooded, while a cargo ship smashed into the only bridge linking the island where the airport is located with Japan's main island of Honshu, reports said.

Meanwhile, a 71-year-old man died after being buried underneath a storage unit that collapsed on him.

The Osaka prefecture was mostly affected by the disaster, eight people out of 11 were killed in this area, according to NHK broadcaster.

About 3,000 tourists were stuck overnight at Kansai Airport in western Japan, an important hub for companies exporting semiconductors built on reclaimed land on a bay near Osaka and connected to the mainland by a bridge that was damaged when a tanker slammed into it during the storm.

"It is hard to say what impact this typhoon will have on economic activity, if the [Kansai] airport remains closed for a long time, this will affect tourism revenues in the region", said Koshu Tokunaga, spokesman for the Kansai Economic Federation. Television footage showed sea water overflowing on to low-lying areas.

Based on its wind speeds, Jebi was classified as "very strong" by Japan's weather agency.

The typhoon caused serious damage to the airport, a major gateway for travelers arriving from Asian countries, and raised concerns about its impact on Japan's booming tourism industry.

Hundreds of flights have been canceled after flooding forced Osaka's main global airport to close leaving thousands of tourists stranded.

Elsewhere, the winds whipped away part of the ceiling from Kyoto station and peeled off multi-storey scaffolding on a building in Osaka.

"I urge the Japanese people to take action to protect your lives, including preparing and evacuating early", he said.

It is also known that because of the strong wind and rain canceled more than 600 domestic flights, suspended the movement of trains.

More than 1.6 million households were without power in Osaka, Kyoto, and four nearby prefectures late Tuesday, according to Kansai Electric Power Co.

The airport was closed after runways and parts of its basement were flooded by high waves, a transport ministry official confirmed.

The storm also cut power to hundreds of thousands of homes and caused schools, shops and factories to close in Osaka, Japan's second largest city and a business centre.

Typhoon Jebi came ashore with sustained winds of 100 miles per hour, cutting a path of destruction in and around Osaka and nearby cities that bore the brunt of the storm.

Some of the areas affected are still recovering from devastating record rains that killed at least 200 people over the summer.

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