• Tue
  • Sep 16, 2014
  • Updated: 8:53am
NewsAsia
TYPHOON

Japan orders 1.6m to flee Typhoon Halong; one dead, travel chaos

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 10 August, 2014, 11:04am
UPDATED : Monday, 11 August, 2014, 7:31pm
 

Typhoon Halong killed one person in Japan on Sunday and injured 33, media said, as authorities ordered 1.6 million people out of the path of the storm that battered the west of the country with heavy rain and wind.

Authorities issued the highest typhoon alert and landslide warnings as the storm dumped a metre of rain in an hour, and caused widespread disruption to travel at the beginning of the summer holiday season.

Watch: Typhoon Halong slams into Japan's western main island

One man was washed away in an overflowing river in Gifu prefecture and died later in hospital, while a surfer was missing off the coast of Wakayama prefecture, the NHK national broadcaster said, adding that 33 people had been injured.

More than 200 flights were cancelled and some bullet trains suspended services, leaving people setting off for "o-bon" summer holidays stranded at airports and stations.

The typhoon is expected to head north, passing over Japan’s main island of Honshu. About 40 cm (16 inches) of rain and heavy wind are forecast for eastern Japan, including the Tokyo metropolitan area.

The strong typhoon made landfall near Aki, Kochi prefecture, on Shikoku island at around 6am, an official at the Japan Meteorological Agency said.

The agency said the levels of torrential rain monitored in Mie were already ”unprecedented,” which could trigger massive landslides or cause major floods.

Television footage showed high waves triggered by the typhoon splashing over breakwaters and muddy torrents roaring down a swollen river.

At least 143 more flights will be cancelled on Sunday due to the typhoon, which came as Japan had just begun its annual “Obon” summer holiday, NHK said.

Typhoon Halong, packing winds of up to 180 kilometres per hour, was moving northeast at 20 kilometres per hour, the agency said.

Halong comes a month after Typhoon Neoguri killed several people and left a trail of destruction in southern Japan.

Last weekend, a man drowned in a raging river while more than half a million people were advised to evacuate as heavy rain from Typhoon Nakri lashed the country.

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