| Storm causes damage in Japan
| Friday, October 9, 2009
|TOKYO — A powerful tropical storm tore through Japan's main island on Thursday, peeling roofs off houses, cutting electricity off to hundreds of thousands of people, and forcing flight cancellations.
The country's major airlines said at least 400 domestic flights and 20 international flights had been cancelled.
It has also been confirmed that two men have died as a result of the storm.
One man died when his motorbike slammed into a downed tree in the coastal prefecture of Wakayama, and another was killed by a falling tree just north of Tokyo, said police.
During morning rush hour more than 2 million commuters in Tokyo were stranded for hours as train services on several lines were suspended.
Strong winds forced trains to stop midway between stations and unload passengers, and in some parts of Tokyo suited businessmen rushed to work by foot alongside the dormant tracks.
In other regions trucks toppled over on highways and bridges were destroyed by flash floods.
Nearly 30 people were injured and more than 11,000 people were evacuated to shelters according to the Fire and Disaster Management Agency.
As the storm moved northeast across the country, cars were partially submerged, large shipping containers were scattered by the wind, and buildings were damaged as ceilings and walls were torn away.
Huge waves also crashed over storm barriers onto coastal roads.
Winds were blowing at about 108 kph, with gusts up to 160 kph.
Electrical power was gradually being restored to the more than 500,000 homes, according to Japan's power companies.
Although initially reported as a typhoon, by evening Typhoon Melor was downgraded to a tropical storm as it lost power over northern Japan.
It was due to veer off the north-eastern coast Thursday evening (local time).
|posted by Moderator Londen time 1:33 AM