Disasters & Accidents

Cyclone Lan makes landfall in western Japan, paralyzes transport amid festivities

Tokyo, Aug 15 (EFE).- Cyclone Lan made landfall on Tuesday in Wakayama Prefecture, in western Japan, bringing heavy rains and disrupting transport on a day of an important Japanese holiday.

According to the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA), Lan made landfall at around 5am local time near Shionomisaki, and continued moving northwards.

Lan, the seventh cyclone of the season in the Pacific, has now been downgraded to a severe tropical storm.

Two people were injured in this prefecture, including a 60-year-old man who was trapped under a wall that collapsed, according to public broadcaster NHK.

Several parts of Mie, Shikoku and Okayama prefectures have been witnessing heavy rains and strong winds, along with several cities in neighboring prefectures, such as Osaka, Nara, Kyoto and Kobe.

Lan is moving in the northwestern direction at the speed of 15 kilometers per hour, and with gusts of up to 144 kph.

According to the authorities, heavy rains, which could exceed 400 millimeters in the Tokai and Kansai regions, could cause landslides and floods.

People have been asked to remain in safe places, preferably indoors. Those vulnerable have been recommended to move to designated shelters.

According to Kansai Electric Power, some 46,160 homes suffered power outages in the Kansai region.

The arrival of the typhoon in Japan coincided with the Obon festivities, in which the deceased are remembered, and which witnesses a large number of people traveling for family gatherings.

The tropical cyclone has caused the suspension today of all operations between Nagoya and Okayama stations, including those of high-speed trains (shinkansen), and service between Tokyo and Nagoya was significantly reduced.

Other local rail lines are expected to experience cancellations or delays during the day, as has happened with services on some Osaka routes.

Most flights connecting the western and central parts of the archipelago were canceled, leaving many people stranded at airports.

Lan comes shortly after the passage of Cyclone Khanun, which in the last two weeks affected southwestern Japan and the Korean peninsula, causing several deaths, extensive flooding, and significant material damages. EFE


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