Dead as Powerful Typhoon Whomps Japan

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A powerful typhoon slammed into western Japan on Tuesday, causing heavy rain to flood the region's main offshore global airport and strong winds to blow a tanker into a bridge, disrupting land and air travel.

Jebi, which made landfall in western areas of the country, brought heavy rain and winds of up to 172kmph.

The fast-moving storm quickly crossed the country, and by nightfall was on the verge of leaving land and heading out to sea from Ishikawa in central Japan.

A man working inside a warehouse in Shiga Prefecture died after the building collapsed, while another man fell to his death from the second floor of a house in Osaka, apparently because of strong wind, police said.

"Our house is right at the base of a mountain, so it's a little unsafe and we made a decision to leave", one woman told NHK.

An anchored oil tanker in Osaka Bay, caught up by the storm, was sent crashing into the bridge that connects the airport to the main island of Honshu. There were no reports of injuries.

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The airport, which is built on an artificial island, had one of its runways flooded along with a terminal building.

Jebi has been described as very strong.

Vehicles were overturned by strong winds. "I've never seen such a thing", a 19-year-old boy at the scene told the public broadcaster.

More than 1.6 million customers lost power in the storm, NHK reports, and some parts of central and western Japan are under evacuation advisories.

At 4 pm local time (12.30 pm Indian Standard Time), the typhoon was travelling west of the city of Fukui at a speed of 65 kilometres per hour, and causing winds of up to 180 kilometres per hour, The Japan Times reported.

"I urge the Japanese people to take action to protect your lives, including preparing and evacuating early", he said. Many schools have been shut in the affected areas as well.

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The Shinkansen bullet train was operating on a reduced schedule and Universal Studios Japan, a popular amusement park near Osaka, was closed. Many trains passing Osaka-Hiroshima route have been suspended as well.

Jebi was moving fast on a northeast track and expected to weaken as it crosses Japan.

Typhoon Jebi, whose name means swallow in Korean, is the latest spate of record-breaking, deadly weather patterns to hit the island nation this summer, after historic floods, landslides, and a heat wave killed at least 300 people.

The sustained rain caused widespread flooding and landslides in July, devastating entire villages and forcing thousands from their homes.

In Japan, evacuation orders are not mandatory and people often stay at home, only to be trapped by rapidly rising water or sudden landslides.

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