- Title: JAPAN: Typhoon strength winds and rain wreak havoc and cause transportation chaos
- Date: 4th April 2012
- Summary: PASSENGER TALKING TO AIRLINE STAFF (SOUNDBITE) (Japanese) 51-YEAR-OLD RESIDENT OF FUKUOKA, KYUSHU ISLAND, WHOSE FLIGHT WAS CANCELLED, MAYUMI SUMI, SAYING: "I came to the airport because the airline said the 2:20 p.m. plane will take off, but they're now saying it's cancelled."
- Embargoed: 19th April 2012 13:00
- Location: Japan, Japan
- Country: Japan
- Topics: Disasters,Environment,Transport
- Reuters ID: LVADOGGM1A3CLNL982NXBZQ25LSG
- Story Text: Typhoon-strength winds and rain wreaked havoc across Japan on Tuesday (April 3), killing at least one person and causing transport chaos.
The unseasonal weather is due to a low pressure system sweeping across the country.
The gusts in western Japan's Wakayama were on par with a category one typhoon, categorized by a sustained wind speed of over 118 kilometres per hour (78 miles per hour).
The strong winds also dealt their toll on transportation, with local media reporting 11 flipped trucks in Toyama prefecture.
Local media said the storm killed one 82-year-old man in Toyama, who died after winds toppled a metal shed on top of him.
The adverse weather has forced more than 600 flight cancellations and caused large parts of Japan's train system to shut down.
Many had hoped to get out of Tokyo, but were disappointed once they arrived to find that many planes were grounded.
"I came to the airport because the airline said the 2:20 p.m. plane will take off, but they're now saying it's cancelled," said 51-year-old Mayumi Sumi.
"It's strange (to have a storm) at this time of a year. I came to here assuming it won't be that serious, but the gust seems to be pretty strong, and my flight got cancelled. I have no choice but to go back home and come back again tomorrow," said Yuko Minami, whose flight to her hometown southern island of Kyushu was cancelled.
Many companies in Tokyo sent their employees home early.
"It's an amazing amount of rain, it's like a typhoon. I'm quite surprised. I was told by my company to just go home," said one man interviewed by TV Tokyo as he rushed to make his train.
The meteorological agency warned that the west Tokyo area could be hit by typhoon wind speeds of up to 140 kilometres per hour (87 miles per hour).
It also said the winds could cause strong waves in coastal areas and warned of possible landslides.
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