Biggest storms to hit the country in years killed at least one person in Japan

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Typhoon Nanmadol brought ferocious winds and record rainfall to western Japan on Monday 19 September 2022 as one of the biggest storms to hit the country in years killed at least one person, disrupted transport and forced some manufacturers to suspend operations.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida delayed his departure to New York where he is due to deliver a speech at the UN General Assembly until Tuesday to monitor the impact of the storm.

“We need to remain highly vigilant for heavy rains, gales, high waves and storm surges,” a Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) official told a news conference.

Japan’s 14th typhoon of the season made landfall near Kagoshima city late on Sunday before battering the western island of Kyushu and then roaring onto the main island of Honshu on Monday morning.

A river in Kyushu’s Miyazaki prefecture overflowed flooding fields and roads. A riverside house half hanging over a torrent and the tin roof ripped off a gas station, and a toppled billboard leaning over a street from the top of a building.

NHK said one man was found dead inside his car which was found submerged on the rooftop in the middle of a field. Another man was found unconscious in an area hit by landslides.

At least 82 people have been injured, NHK said. About 340 000 households most of them in Kyushu were without electricity early on Monday, the trade ministry said.

While Kyushu Railway Co said it had halted operation son Kyushu and Japan Airline Co Ltd and ANA Holdings cancelled about 800 flights, public broadcaster NHK reported.

“The storm was centred off the coast north of Shimane prefecture in western Honshu as of 0700 GMT and was heading northeast at about 35 km per hour (22 miles per hour),” said the JMA.

The storm would track the coast to the north of Honshu into Tuesday before crossing overland and moving northeast out into the Pacific, the agency projected. The nation’s industrial heartland says up to 400 mm (15.75 inches) of rain was expected in central Japan’s Tokai region over the next 24 hours.

Toyota Motor Corp was among manufacturers that said they would idle production at some factories due to the storm, but there were no reports of major damage to the industry. Intermittent bouts of heavy rain lashed Tokyo but businesses in the capital were largely operating as normal. Most schools were closed on Monday anyway for a public holiday.