Jebi leaves trail of destruction as strongest typhoon to hit Japan in decades


At least nine people were killed and more than 200 injured when Typhoon Jebi made landfall Tuesday (local time, Monday in Hawaii) and swept across part of Japan’s main island.

It was the strongest typhoon to make landfall in Japan since 1993.

The storm hit the country’s southern prefectures, causing storm surges, heavy wind, and rain.

The deaths included a man in his 70s who was blown to the ground from his apartment in Osaka prefecture. Police said five others died elsewhere in the prefecture after being hit by flying objects or falling from their apartments. In nearby Shiga prefecture, a 71-year-old man died when a storage building collapsed on him, and a man in his 70s died after falling from a roof in Mie, officials said.

Jebi also overturned vehicles and left over a million people without power.

Kansai International Airport near Osaka remains closed. Runways were flooded and hundreds of flights were canceled.

KHON2’s Kelly Simek was at the airport when the storm hit.

“Luckily, right when they canceled all the flights for the day, I decided to go to, believe it or not, there was a 7-Eleven in the terminal two airport that I was in. This tiny terminal had a 7-Eleven, so I stocked up on, basically the hurricane prep kicked in, right, so I grabbed a bunch of non-perishables. Luckily, the water was still fine, and we had empty water bottles so I was able to fill up water bottles,” she said. “We had plenty of food which luckily I did buy, because the restaurants were open pretty much through yesterday evening, but everything is closed today.

“It’s been crazy. I’ve been at the airport now for 30 hours, and we’ve been standing in this line to get on the ferry since 6:30 a.m. so for nine hours,” she continued. “The only means to get out of this airport island is either a bus service, which is a big limousine bus, or taking a ferry out, and both of those are from terminal one, which the majority of the terminal is completely out of power. There’s nothing going on, so luckily we did buy enough food for about two days yesterday.

“To be honest, I didn’t see any damage where we were, and so that’s why it was so surprising when they were canceling everything. But apparently, something digitally went down, so basically the Internet isn’t working so no one can connect to anything digitally. So at the desk, or the agents, or even ATMs, pretty much everything is down,” Simek added.

Simek also shared her experiences via Facebook Live, which you can view here.

More than 300 miles away, Tokyo was not affected as severely, but the city’s transportation systems were halted, and the city was still pummeled by strong winds and rain.

Hisato Nakamura, Tokyo Broadcasting System news director, just arrived in Hawaii Tuesday. 

When he left Narita International Airport, “the winds were so strong in Tokyo that they were thinking are they going to be able to fly?” a translator said. “Japan always has a lot of these typhoons, but he said this time it was particularly scary, because it was so strong, and just the sound of the strength of the wind was really scary.”

Jebi has been downgraded to a tropical storm and is heading north of Japan.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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