Typhoon Nanmadol brought fierce winds and record rainfall to western Japan on Monday as one of the biggest storms to hit the country in years killed at least two people, disrupted transportation and strained manufacturers to suspend their operations.
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has delayed his departure for New York, where he is due to deliver a speech at the UN General Assembly.
“I have postponed my planned departure from today to take stock of the damage caused by the typhoon and to take all possible recovery measures,” Kishida told reporters on Monday evening. “If circumstances permit, I will leave tomorrow morning.”
The 14th Japanese typhoon of the season made landfall near the city of Kagoshima on Sunday evening before hitting the western island of Kyushu and roaring across the main island of Honshu on Monday morning.
A river in Kyushu’s Miyazaki prefecture overflowed, flooding fields and roads, footage from state broadcaster NHK showed. Another video showed a house on the edge of a river half-suspended over a torrent, the tin roof ripped off a gas station and a toppled billboard leaning over a street in the top of a building.
“We need to stay very alert for heavy rain, gale force winds, high waves and storm surge,” a Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) official told a news conference.
NHK said a man was found dead inside his car, which was submerged on its roof in the middle of a field, while another man died after being caught in a landslide.
Another person is still missing and at least 87 people have been injured, NHK said.
About 340,000 homes, most of them in Kyushu, were without power early Monday, the Commerce Ministry said, while Kyushu Railway Co (9142.T) said it had halted operations on Kyushu and Japan Airline Co Ltd (9201.T). .T) and ANA. Holdings (9202.T) canceled about 800 flights, public broadcaster NHK reported.
The storm made landfall again in Shimane prefecture, western Honshu, after tracking the coastline earlier on Monday, and was heading east at around 35 km per hour (22 miles per hour), a indicated the JMA.
The storm will veer into the Sea of Japan for the second time and follow the coast north of Honshu until Tuesday before crossing overland and moving northeast into the Pacific, the agency predicted.
Up to 400 mm (15.75 inches) of rain was expected in the Tokai region of central Japan, the country’s industrial heartland, over the next 24 hours, it said.
Toyota Motor Corp (7203.T) was among manufacturers that said they would slow production at some plants due to the storm, but no major damage was reported across the industry.
Intermittent bouts of heavy rain hit Tokyo, but businesses in the capital were largely operating normally.
Most schools were closed on Monday for a public holiday anyway.