Typhoon kills 9 in Japan, Kansai airport flooded

This screenshot from the Japan Meteorological Agency website shows the expected course of Typhoon Jebi in the coming days

About 5,000 people stranded at Kansai International Airport were being transported out via a high-speed boat as authorities sought to clean up the devastation left behind by Typhoon Jebi.

It raked across the western part of the largest main island, Honshu, near the city of Kobe, several hours later, before heading into the Sea of Japan in the evening.

Before it made landfall, the storm had sustained winds of 140 kilometers per hour (87 mph) and gusts of 165 kmh (102 mph), the equivalent of a Category 1 Atlantic hurricane. 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.

As Jebi approached, more than 1.2 million people in the Kansai area had been advised to leave their homes.

An aerial view shows flooded parking bays on Tuesday night at Kansai airport, which is built on a man-made island in a bay, after Typhoon Jebi hit the area, in Izumisano.

ANA Holdings Inc. said Tuesday morning it was canceling 247 domestic and 8 global flights, while Japan Airlines Co. pulled 176 domestic flights.

In central Osaka, the wind sent a 100-metre-tall ferris wheel into a furious spin, even though its power had been cut off.

Jebi is classed as a "very strong" typhoon, Ryuta Kurora, the chief forecaster from the Japan Meteorological Agency, told AFP.

More than 700 flights were cancelled, including several global flights departing and arriving at Nagoya and Osaka, along with ferries, local train services and some bullet train lines.

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About half a million households in Osaka and five nearby prefectures remained without power, as of 11am (0200 GMT), according to Kansai Electric Power.

The airlines, which had suspended about 800 flights on Tuesday, again cancelled about 160 on Wednesday, according to NHK data.

Japanese media tallied at least nine deaths, and the Fire and Disaster Management Agency said more than 200 people were injured.

Businesses, factories and schools in the affected area shut down while the storm barrelled across the country, forcing the cancellation of hundreds of flights, ferry services and some bullet trains.

The airport was closed after runways and parts of its basement were flooded by high waves, a transport ministry official confirmed. The storm made landfall on Tuesday with winds of up to 130 miles per hour.

Japan usually suffers the attacks of typhoons in summer, but this year has been particularly hard.

The strongest tropical cyclone to come ashore in 25 years struck near Japan's second-biggest economic center of Osaka around midday Tuesday, leaving at least 9 people dead and 229 injured, according to national broadcaster NHK.

The flooding and landslides proved so deadly in part because many people did not heed evacuation advisories, which are not mandatory.

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