TOKYO: A powerful typhoon barrelled towards Japan, leaving two dead and more than 10 injured, as millions struggled to the polls for a national election.
Authorities advised thousands living in coastal areas or near rivers to evacuate to shelters as Typhoon Lan, described as “very large and very strong”, dumped torrential rain over much of the country.
According to Japan’s meteorological agency, the storm packed gusts up to 216kph last night in the Pacific south of Japan and may hit Tokyo and surrounding regions early today.
The typhoon claimed its first victims as a male passerby died when scaffolding collapsed on him at a construction site in Fukuoka, western Japan, public broadcaster NHK said. And a 70-year-old man was found dead after he dived into the sea to grab a rope from another vessel as he attempted to escape from his troubled boat, a coastguard said.
Strong winds forced airline companies to ground more than 500 flights, while some train and ferry services in western Japan were cancelled, local media said.
Television footage showed rescuers tugging a rubber boat carrying an elderly woman in a residential area in Chiba southeast of Tokyo as a flooded river engulfed the area. — AFP/thestar.com.my