Typhoon ‘Midulle’ lands in Japan

Thousands could be evacuated

Typhoon Mindulle lashed Tokyo on Monday, dumping heavy rain across the capital. Nationwide, at least two people were feared dead in storm-related incidents. Storm water coursed down usually placid rivers and left many streets flooded, with conditions expected to peak by the afternoon.

The typhoon, the season’s ninth, landed near Tateyama, Chiba Prefecture, on the Boso Peninsula at around 12:30 p.m., the Meteorological Agency said.

It had maximum sustained winds of 126 kph and a maximum wind gust speed of 180 kph. It was the equivalent of a category 1 hurricane, the weakest on the Saffir-Simpson hurricane scale.

The weather agency issued heavy rain and flood warnings for all 23 wards of central Tokyo, while the Prime Minister’s Office warned of possible landslides and damage from strong waves. Japan Airlines Co. canceled 148 domestic flights, while ANA Holdings Inc. scrubbed 96 flights, affecting a total of about 49,000 passengers, according to statements from the airlines.

Train services were also delayed or canceled in the morning in greater Tokyo and the Tokai region around Shizuoka Prefecture. Odakyu Electric Railway Co. services halted between Tokyo and Hakone, an upland tourist destination south of the capital, and the Yamagata Shinkansen ceased operating along a section between Fukushima and Shinjo.

The city of Izu in Shizuoka Prefecture and Hachijo Island, off Tokyo, logged rainfall of 86 millimeters per hour, a record high for August, while the latter location also registered wind of 183 kph.

The weather agency warned of mudslides and floods as well as lightning and strong gusts.

Kanagawa Prefectural Police said a woman was feared drowned in the city of Sagamihara, in the prefecture. An emergency call on Monday morning reported that a woman was clinging to a guardrail on flooded National Route 129 and was in danger of being swept away. A body was recovered.

A little after 11:30 a.m., a mudslide near the Seibu Tamako Line in Higashimurayama, Tokyo, derailed a four-car train between Musashiyamato and Seibu Yuenchi stations. No injuries were reported among the six passengers aboard, police said.

The line was closed and the passengers walked to Musashiyamato station.

Two other storms were hovering around the Japanese archipelago, with the tenth, Lionrock, tracking towards Okinawa and the 11th, Typoon Kompasu, having weakened to an extratropical cyclone after passing over Hokkaido on Sunday night.

That comes after Typhoon Kompasu landed on Hokkaido late Sunday evening as heavy rain in the prefecture’s east caused a river to overflow, forcing residents to evacuate, the agency said.

The Tokoro River in Kitami, Hokkaido, overflowed before dawn Sunday, prompting the city to order residents to evacuate. In Kitami and four other municipalities in Hokkaido, 6,090 people were ordered to seek shelter as of 2 p.m.

A man’s body was found Monday morning in 30-cm-deep water on a flooded street near the river. Police identified him as Dai Ichinoseki, 42, of Kitami.

His car was nearby. Police said Ichinoseki likely abandoned the car after it became stuck.

Meanwhile, about 90 people at a hot springs resort in the central Hokkaido town of Higashikawa were isolated after an access road sustained storm damage, a regional land ministry office said.

Typhoon Chanthu also hit the island prefecture last Wednesday.

In Fukushima Prefecture, a boat carrying five Japan Coast Guard members capsized off the city of Minamisoma on Sunday afternoon, killing one, the Coast Guard said.

The crew was searching for an 18-year-old male who was last seen on the shore. The waters in the area were rough due to the passing of Kompasu.