Powerful Typhoon Faxai Wreaks Havoc on Tokyo Transportation System
Apowerful typhoon wreaked havoc with Tokyo’s transportation system, causing significant travel disruptions in the metropolitan area Monday morning, affecting hundreds of thousands of commuters at the start of the week. Typhoon Faxai made landfall before 5am (8am Fiji time) in Chiba, the Meteorological Agency said, bringing strong winds and rain to the Kanto area.
East Japan Railway Co. said that a large number of train lines in the greater Tokyo area were suspended yesterday, as the firm inspected its tracks following the passage of the powerful typhoon.
The weather agency warned that central and eastern Japan, including Tokyo, could see record winds, forcing airlines to cancel a number of flights and some major roads to be closed.
Authorities issued noncompulsory evacuation warnings to more than 390,000 people, as forecasters cautioned the rain and wind could reach “record” proportions.
More than a dozen people were injured in the area of Tateyama, Chiba Prefecture, and another 10 in the city of Chiba, while two people were hurt in Kanagawa Prefecture, local authorities said.
As of 6am (9am Fiji time), the season’s 15th typhoon was travelling northeast at 25 kilometers per hour near the city of Narita. It had an atmospheric pressure of 960 hectopascals at its centre and was packing winds of up to 216 kph, according to the weather agency. The typhoon was expected to pass through the Kanto region and travel over the Pacific off northeastern Japan.
The weather agency warned of mudslides and flooding after the heavy rain.
In Chiba and Kanagawa prefectures, some 920,000 households were temporarily out of power, according to Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc.
A tree fell onto an overhead power line between
Shinagawa and Osaki stations in Tokyo and an alarm at a railway crossing was also toppled by wind on the Yokosuka Line, according to JR East.
Central Japan Railway Co. started bullet train services at around 7.40am (10.40am Fiji time) after removing debris between Tokyo and Odawara stations on the Tokaido Shinkansen Line. The company had reduced services between Tokyo and Shin-Osaka and moved up the schedule for the end of operations the previous day.
Some other railway services and subway operations in the metropolitan area were also suspended due to the typhoon, while many flights departing from and arriving at Tokyo’s Haneda Airport have been cancelled since Sunday evening.
Television footage showed a huge roof collapsing at a gasoline station in Tateyama, south of Tokyo, with pumps crushed underneath. yesterday’s morning services on all of the eight lines it operates in eastern Kanagawa and the southwestern part of Tokyo spanning around 100 kilometers across 97 stations.
Tokyo Metro Co., meanwhile, said some services on the Tozai and Yurakucho subway lines were suspended.
In the 24 hours through noon yesterday, the typhoon was forecast to bring between 200 and 300 millimeters of rainfall to central and eastern Japan.
Typhoon Faxai comes just as teams begin arriving for the Rugby World Cup, which kicks off on September 20.
The French team managed to sneak in just ahead of the typhoon and reach their training camp near Mount Fuji. However, the Australian Wallabies squad found their preparations disrupted as the typhoon delayed their scheduled arrival.
Japan announced evacuation warnings affecting more than 1 million people and cancelled hundreds of flights as Typhoon Jebi, the strongest storm to hit the nation in 25 years, battered the country’s west coast.
Rail operator Tokyu Corp. also said it suspended Commuters wait outside a train station in Yokohama on Monday morning after rail services were suspended due to Typhoon Faxai.