Typhoon Lan Churns Sea at Japan's Mikurajima Island

Cheryl Sanders
October 23, 2017

Heavy rainfall caused by Typhoon Lan on Sunday mainly affected the western end of the country, where two people were killed in Fukuoka and Yamaguchi prefectures.

Typhoon Lan, classified as an intense Category 4 storm by the Tropical Storm Risk monitoring site, is packing wind gusts up to 198 kilometers per hour.

Authorities advised thousands living in coastal areas or near rivers to evacuate to shelters before Typhoon Lan, described as "very large and very strong", hit Tokyo and surrounding regions early Monday morning.

Lan appeared to have weakened slightly from its peak, but it was still a powerful storm that could pound parts of Japan with more than 80 mm (3 inches) of rain an hour, an agency official told reporters.

Some ferry services in western Japan were also cancelled as the weather agency warned of high waves, landslides and floods across the Japanese archipelago.

They said: "The wind and rain will grow stronger as the night goes on, so take measures as needed as early as possible, preferably before it gets dark".

The high-speed train service Tokaido Shinkansen line - linking Tokyo with the west of the country - was interrupted and different sections of highways have been cut on the main island of Honshu.

The storm, which drenched many regions over the weekend as Japan voted in its national elections, led to nearly 300 flights being cancelled on Monday, after 500 were cancelled on Sunday.

Yesterday, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe ordered his minister in charge of disasters to be ready to mobilise rescue and evacuation forces, including troops. It wasn't clear if it was directly related to winds from the storm.

Toyota Motor Corp cancelled the first shift at all of its assembly plants and said that it would decide on a later shift around noon on Monday.

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