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15th August Typhoon Lan Leads To Stop Of Japan Air Traffic

Tropical cyclone Lan crossed western Japan on Tuesday, leaving around twenty injured and thousands of evacuees. The typhoon has caused heavy rains and paralyzed air and rail transport on a day that coincides with an important Japanese holiday.

According to the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA), Lan is the seventh typhoon of the season in the Pacific. It is already downgraded to a severe tropical storm and has made landfall around 5:00 am this Tuesday in the western prefecture of Wakayama to continue on its northward path.

Due to the arrival of the front, a meteorological alert of different levels has been declared in various regions of western and central Japan, given the risk of flooding and landslides and other accidents derived from torrential rains and winds of more than 100 km/h.

In various areas of the city of Tottori (downtown), the JMA has decreed a level five and maximum alert, which means urging the population to evacuate to the facilities set up for this purpose, or in the event that this is dangerous due to the weather conditions, to take shelter in sturdy buildings or take other measures to protect their lives.

The Japanese authorities have also issued evacuation orders in different locations in a dozen prefectures, affecting thousands of people and including areas of cities in the west of the country such as Osaka, Nara, Kyoto or Kobe.

Heavy rains, which could exceed 400mm in the Tokai and Kansai regions, are leaving areas flooded and rivers and canals swollen. The front has caused incidents such as the formation of a tornado in Shizuoka (center) that overturned several vehicles, injuring one of the passengers, or the overflow of a river that washed away a bridge in Kyoto (west).

At least twenty people have been injured in various accidents caused by extreme weather conditions, including a man in his 60s crushed by a wall that fell off and who is unconscious, detailed the NHK public channel.

According to the Kansai Electric Power company, about 50,000 homes suffered power outages in the Kansai region on Tuesday and the company is trying to restore access.

The Japanese airlines have announced on Tuesday the cancellation of some 560 flights from or to the west of the country, leaving more than 50,000 passengers on the ground.

In addition, some 650 people were forced to spend the night at the Kansai (west) airport the night before, after all access to the airfield located on an artificial island off the city of Osaka was blocked due to the typhoon.

Jonas Muthoni
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