Typhoon kills 11 in Japan, Kansai airport flooded

An aerial view shows flooded aircraft 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. (Kyodo/via Reuters)

TOKYO: A powerful typhoon killed at least 11 people in western Japan and an airport company had to transfer some 3,000 stranded passengers by boats, public broadcaster NHK reported on Wednesday. More than a million homes were without power.

Typhoon Jebi, or “swallow” in Korean, was briefly a super typhoon and is the most powerful storm to hit Japan in 25 years. It follows heavy rains, landslides, floods and record-breaking heat that killed hundreds of people this summer.

About 3,000 tourists stayed overnight at Kansai airport in the heavily populated south-central area of Japan’s main island, Honshu. Television footage showed people lining up to buy food and drinks at a convenience store in the airport.

Kansai airport is on an artificial island. The bridge linking the airport was also heavily damaged.

Airport officials began transferring the stranded passengers to nearby Kobe airport by high-speed boats on Wednesday morning, according to NHK.

It could take several days to a week to reopen Kansai airport depending on the damage, the Yomiuri newspaper quoted an unidentified person in the airline industry as saying.

Kansai International Airport officials said later on Wednesday they weren’t sure when the airport will reopen. Although a damaged runway had been mostly cleared, other equipment to ensure safe flying wasn’t operating.

More one million households were without power in Osaka and its surrounding areas at 7.30am local time (5.30am Thailand time) on Wednesday and a number of flights and some trains were cancelled, according to the trade ministry and public broadcaster NHK.

Japan’s JXTG Nippon Oil Energy Corp shut at least one of the refining units at its 135,000 barrels-per-day Sakai refinery in Osaka in western Japan due to typhoon damage to a part of the cooling tower, the trade ministry said.

Reuters video

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