Trami batters Okinawa, turns its attention north to Kanto

Joint Typhoon Warning Center map of Typhoon Trami's projected path

A powerful typhoon sliced through Japan Sunday, injuring dozens, halting transport, and bringing fierce winds and torrential rain to areas already battered by a string of recent extreme weather episodes.

A ship washes ashore at a port in Yonabaru, Okinawa Prefecture, on September 29, 2018, as Typhoon Trami approaches Japan's southernmost prefecture.

Japan issued evacuation orders and warnings to about 700,000 households in southern and western Japan.

Kansai International Airport in Osaka, western Japan, which was heavily flooded by a typhoon last month, said it had closed its runways from 11 a.m. (0200 GMT) Sunday until 6 a.m. Monday.

Nationwide, authorities have issued non-compulsory evacuation advisories to 1.5 million residents, according to public broadcaster NHK, and officials urged people across the country to stay indoors.

The island's main carrier, China Air Lines (CAL), was canceling Sunday's flights CI156/157 and CI172/173 between Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport and Kansai, flights CI166/167 between Kaohsiung and Kansai, and flights 178/179 between Taoyuan and Takamatsu, according to the Apple Daily.

Typhoon Trami has already sparked travel disruption in the world's third-biggest economy, with bullet train services in the west of Japan suspended and nearly 1,000 flights cancelled due to the closure of a key airport hub.

The typhoon has already disrupted transportation services in southern Japan including Okinawa Prefecture.

Shinkansen bullet train services between Hiroshima and Tokyo will gradually be suspended through the morning as the typhoon moves northeastward. Tokyo Metro announced it would suspend operation of some subway trains from 9 p.m.

Over Sept. 30 to October 1, the typhoon is expected to hit the Amami Islands, southern Kyushu, Shikoku and the Kinki regions in southwestern and western Japan with strong winds of up to 45 m/s (162 kph), with maximum gusts hitting 60 m/s (216 kph).

Typhoon Trami, packing maximum gusts of 216 kilometres per hour near its centre, was forecast to hit the mainland early Sunday and cause extreme weather across the country into Monday. The terminal building was closed for the day and the monorail as well as bus service to the airport were also suspended.

Seventeen people suffered minor injuries in storm-related accidents in Okinawa and several houses suffered some damage but no one was feared dead, local officials said.

Trami comes at the end of a summer of disasters in Japan that included Jebi, flooding and heatwaves.

"We are strongly urging our residents to stay indoors because it is extremely risky to be outside now", Masaaki Tamaki, an official of Kagoshima's disaster management section, told AFP.

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