Typhoon Trami drenches southern Japan as it marches toward mainland

Posted at 7:27 AM, Sep 29, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-29 23:10:19-04

A powerful typhoon unleashed heavy winds and rain on southern Japan this weekend as it slowly marched northeast toward the nation’s main islands Sunday morning.

Typhoon Trami was the equivalent of Category 2 hurricane when it passed over the Ryukyu Islands late Friday. The Ryukyu Island chain stretches north of Taiwan to the Japanese island of Kyushu, and includes Okinawa, the largest island in the chain, with about 1.4 million people, including around 25,000 US troops and their families.

The Japan Meteorological Agency said the typhoon could possibly make landfall on the main islands Sunday afternoon, which would make Trami the fifth typhoon to hit the country’s main islands since July.

Rainfall totals of 150 to 300 millimeters (6 to 12 inches) were expected to be widespread, with localized amounts of more than 500 millimeters (19.6 inches).

The storm has disrupted air travel, with an unspecified number of flights suspended Sunday, according to public broadcaster NHK. Train service in Kyoto, Osaka and Kobe districts, as well as the bullet train between Tokyo and western Japan, will be suspended through portions of Sunday, NHK said.

Officials said nearly 300,000 homes were without power, according to NHK.

Earlier in the typhoon season, Typhoon Jebi, the strongest storm to hit Japan’s mainland in 25 years, smashed through the west of the country, killing at least 10 people and causing widespread damage through high winds and storm surges.

Trami comes at the end of a summer of disasters in Japan that included Jebi, flooding and heatwaves.