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Typhoon Lan claims at least two lives as it makes land fall in Japan

Powerful typhoon Lan ripped into central Japan early Monday 23rd Oct, leaving two dead and more than 10 injured.

Authorities advised thousands living in coastal areas or near rivers to evacuate to shelters as Typhoon Lan, described as “very large and very strong”, with gusts near to 200kph, made landfall in Shizuoka southwest of Tokyo at around 3.00 am (1800 GMT Sunday).

The typhoon was moving northeast as winds slowed slightly and may hit Tokyo and surrounding regions during Monday morning rush hours.

Train operators in the capital cancelled some express services in the morning, and some “Shinkansen” bullet trains were stalled in central Japan carrying passengers overnight as the typhoon caused a blackout. Nearly 300 flights scheduled for Monday have already been cancelled, the public broadcaster said, after strong winds forced airline companies to ground more than 500 flights Sunday.

The typhoon claimed its first victims as a male passer-by died when scaffolding collapsed on him at a construction site and a 70-year-old man was found dead after he dived into the sea to grab a rope from another vessel. At least 11 people were injured across the nation.

Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe ordered his minister in charge of disasters to be ready to mobilize rescue and evacuation forces, including troops.

The weather agency separately warned of high waves, landslides and floods in central and western Japan.

To add to the problem elections were being undertaken in Japan, voters in the capital braved torrential rain and driving wind on election day, as a projection said Abe’s ruling conservative coalition was on track to win a two-thirds “super-majority.”

Voting was delayed by some 20 minutes in Kochi in western Japan when landslides blocked a road, while several polling stations closed earlier than scheduled.

Image By VIIRS image captured by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Suomi NPP satellite – NOAA View, Public Domain, Link

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