Heavy rains have lashed parts of western Japan on Thursday as tropical storm Krosa bears down on the country, forcing the cancellations of hundreds of flights and trains as authorities advised more than 400 000 people to evacuate.
The Japan Meteorological Agency said Krosa, a Khmer word for crane, was heading northeast towards the smallest Japanese main island of Shikoku with sustained winds of 108 km/h and gusts up to 162 km/h, with landfall likely in early afternoon.
Authorities warned that the total rainfall in some areas could surpass 1 000 mm over 24 hours to Friday morning and advised some 446 000 people to evacuate, but as of Thursday morning there were no reports of major flooding and only a handful of minor injuries.
The Shinkansen Bullet Train Service was halted in one part of western Japan, as were all local train lines, and several highways were closed.
A total of 679 flights were cancelled, NHK national television said, snarling travel plans for thousands at the end of Japan’s main summer holiday period.