Huge typhoon leaves Japanese airport under water and strands thousands

Japan has been hit by its strongest typhoon in 25 years, causing at least seven deaths and 200 injuries.

Nine people are dead and more than 300 others are injured following powerful typhoon Jebi.

Strong winds brought down a company's warehouse in Shiga prefecture, killing a 71-year-old man, and another died in Osaka after being blown from his apartment, according to local media reports. However, it is set to speed up once it makes landfall, minimising the amount of rain that will fall in one place.

Heavy rain and powerful wind submerged runways at Osaka's Kansai International Airport and pinned a fuel tanker to a bridge linking the airport to the city of Izumisano, according to national broadcaster NHK.

Adding to the damage was a tanker that slammed into the side of a bridge connecting the airport, built on landfills, to the mainland, further crippling transport.

More than 1.2 million people had been advised to leave their homes as Jebi approached the Kansai area - Japan's industrial heartland. It raked across the western part of the largest main island, Honshu, near the city of Kobe, several hours later, heading rapidly north.

Dubai carrier Emirates has announced that flights to Japan's Osaka have been cancelled on Tuesday and Wednesday due to Typhoon Jebi.

The Fire and Disaster Management Agency said 150 people were injured. Jebi was moving fast on a northeast track and expected to weaken as it crosses Japan. Footage on NHK showed a 100-metre (328-foot) tall Ferris wheel in Osaka spinning furiously in the strong wind despite being switched off.

The agency, which also warned of high waves, has called on the public to be vigilant against flooding and mudslides caused by the typhoon.

A video posted on Twitter showed a small part of the roof of the Kyoto train station falling to the ground.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe canceled a planned trip to Kyushu, Japan's southernmost main island, to supervise response efforts, according to AP.

As of 8 pm, the eye of the storm was over the Sea of Japan, about 90 kilometres west of Sado Island, travelling north-north-east at 75 kilometres per hour (km/h) with maximum sustained winds of 126 km/h and gusts of 180 km/h, the agency said.

Television footage showed waves pounding the coastline, sheet metal tumbling across a vehicle park and a truck turned on its side.

Almost 800 flights were canceled, according to Japanese media reports, while the Shinkansen bullet train services between Tokyo and Hiroshima were also suspended.

Numerous flights, train services and highways were closed in the Kinki region and beyond, and shops, factories and other facilities, particularly in western Japan were closed, including the popular Universal Studios attraction in Osaka prefecture.

  • Tracy Klein