1 missing, 50 injured as strong typhoon lashes Japan

09:56, July 20, 2011      

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A large and powerful typhoon lashed Shikoku Island and parts of the Kinki region in western Japan early Wednesday, leaving one people missing and 50 injured in 15 prefectures, local press reported.

At around 0:30 a.m.local time Wednesday, Typhoon Ma-on, this year's sixth typhoon, hit the southern part of Tokushima Prefecture on Shikoku -- the first typhoon landfall in Japan this year, with strong winds of over 90 kilometers per hour, the Japan Meteorological Agency said.

As of 6:00 a.m., torrential rain and strong winds due to the typhoon have left one people missing and 50 people injured in 15 prefectures.

In Okayama Prefecture, an 84-year-old man went missing after going out to check on a boat at the Shimanto River, while a man collapsed amid strong winds and fell unconscious.

In Shizuoka Prefecture in eastern Japan, a total of 96 mountain climbers were isolated in a lodge after heavy rain blocked the road. Powerful winds overturned a truck on the Seto-Chuo Expressway, a 39km freeway spanning the Seto Inland Sea via the Seto Ohashi network of bridges. The driver suffered slight injuries to his chest, according to reports.

The typhoon also disrupted public transportation.

East Japan Railway Co. said the typhoon had caused delays of up to around 55 minutes to Akita Shinkansen bullet train services and about 40 minutes to Tohoku Shinkansen services. It also partially suspended services on local lines and halted eight overnight train services connecting eastern and western Japan.

Shikoku Railway Co. said it had halted services on all lines, while West Japan Railway Co. canceled some services and operated trains at reduced speeds.

All Nippon Airways, Japan Airlines and other airlines said they had canceled a number of flights in and out of airports in Kochi, Osaka, Hyogo and Hiroshima prefectures.

A number of expressways were closed in affected areas, the reports said.

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