Typhoon Mindulle lashes Tokyo, bringing transport chaos and flood warnings

Typhoon Mindulle lashed Tokyo on Monday, dumping heavy rain across the capital and prompting fears of flooding.

NHK television showed storm water coursing down usually placid rivers in the city, where conditions were expected to peak by the afternoon.

The typhoon, the season’s ninth, landed near Tateyama, Chiba Prefecture, at around 12:30 p.m. and was heading north, the Meteorological Agency said.

It had maximum sustained winds of 126 kph and a maximum wind gust speed of 180 kph. It was the equivalent of a category 1 hurricane, the weakest on the Saffir-Simpson hurricane scale.

The weather agency issued heavy rain and flood warnings for all 23 wards of central Tokyo, while the Prime Minister’s Office warned of possible landslides and damage from strong waves. Japan Airlines Co. canceled 148 domestic flights, while ANA Holdings Inc. scrubbed 96 flights, affecting a total of about 49,000 passengers, according to statements from the airlines.

Trains were also affected. Odakyu Electric Railway Co. services halted between Tokyo and Hakone, an upland tourist destination south of the capital, and the Yamagata Shinkansen ceased operating along a section between Fukushima and Shinjo.

Two other storms were hovering around the Japanese archipelago, with the tenth, Lionrock, tracking towards Okinawa and the 11th, Typoon Kompasu, having weakened to an extratropical cyclone after passing over Hokkaido on Sunday night.

That comes after Typhoon Kompasu landed on Hokkaido late Sunday evening as heavy rain in the prefecture’s east caused a river to overflow, forcing residents to evacuate, the agency said.

The Tokoro River in Kitami, Hokkaido, overflowed before dawn Sunday, prompting the city to order residents to evacuate. In Kitami and four other municipalities in Hokkaido, 6,090 people were ordered to seek shelter as of 2 p.m.

Meanwhile, about 90 people at a hot springs resort in the central Hokkaido town of Higashikawa were isolated after an access road sustained storm damage, a regional land ministry office said.

Typhoon Chanthu also hit the island prefecture last Wednesday.

In Fukushima Prefecture, a boat carrying five Japan Coast Guard members capsized off the city of Minamisoma on Sunday afternoon, killing one, the Coast Guard said.

The crew was searching for an 18-year-old male who was last seen on the shore. The waters in the area were rough due to the passing of Kompasu./TheJapanTimes