- Title: JAPAN: Typhoon-strength storm stuns Tokyo commuters
- Date: 4th April 2012
- Summary: TOKYO, JAPAN (APRIL 3, 2012) (REUTERS) ( NIGHT SCENES) WOMAN WALKING IN STREET WITH STRONG WINDS BLOWING TREE BEING SHAKEN BY WIND VARIOUS OF STREET LIGHT BEING SHAKEN BY HEAVY RAIN AND STRONG WIND PEOPLE MANAGE TO CROSS ROAD IN STRONG WIND PEDESTRIAN SIGNAL SKEWED FROM THE FORCE OF WIND STRONG WIND SPRAYING WATER ON ROAD VARIOUS OF MAN PROPPING UP MOTORCYCLE IN WIND (SOUNDBITE) (Japanese) 41-YEAR-OLD MOTORCYCLE COURIER, KOJI NAKADE, SAYING: "I cannot move at all... as you see." NAKADE SLOWLY MOVING HIS MOTORCYCLE NAKADE STOPPED BY WIND AGAIN MAN WALKING WITH BROKEN UMBRELLA (SOUNDBITE) (Japanese) 27-YEAR-OLD BUSINESSMAN, RIO OGAWA, SAYING: "This is something I've never experienced. I haven't seen anything like this in Tokyo." PUBLIC SQUARE IN FRONT OF SHIBUYA TRAIN STATION SUBWAY ENTRANCE EMPTY AS SERVICES ARE SUSPENDED ELECTRONIC TICKER READING IN JAPANESE: "OPERATION SUSPENDED" MONITOR READING IN ENGLISH: "OPERATION STOPPED / CAUSE: WIND" MONITOR SHOWING TRAIN MAP WITH SUSPENDED SERVICES MARKED IN RED (SOUNDBITE) (Japanese) 60-YEAR-OLD MECHANICAL ENGINEER, KOJI MOCHIZUKI, SAYING: "I've been waiting in my office quite a while hoping the train service will resume." (SOUNDBITE) (Japanese) 19-YEAR-OLD CLOTHES SHOP EMPLOYEE, KANO MIYAZIMA, SAYING: "I just saw my train is suspended. I may stay around here tonight because my place is too far to go by taxi." PEOPLE NEAR SUBWAY GATES
- Embargoed: 19th April 2012 13:00
- Location: Japan, Japan
- Country: Japan
- Topics: Disasters,Environment,Transport
- Reuters ID: LVAAWH8GSBYGPIEI99NZ3V3LBJMV
- Story Text: Strong winds and rain with near typhoon force hit Tokyo on Tuesday (April 3) after causing havoc and transport chaos across Japan throughout the day.
The gusts were at a force of up to 140 kilometres (84 miles) per hour in western Tokyo according to national broadcaster NHK, and are caused by an extremely low pressure system moving across the country. The storm was on par with a category one typhoon, categorised by a sustained wind speed of over 118 kilometres (78 miles) per hour.
Many people in the streets of Tokyo struggled with the strong winds.
"I cannot move at all... as you see," said motorcycle courier Koji Nakade, as he fought to prop up his motorcycle on the side of street.
A tornado warning in the greater Tokyo area was issued as a result of the wind. Nearly 10,000 houses could lose power according to NHK.
"This is something I've never experienced. I haven't seen anything like this in Tokyo," said 27-year-old businessman Rio Ogawa with his broken umbrella in hand.
Tokyo's transportation system was also thrown into chaos by the wind storm with many train lines either running on reduced schedules or completely closed.
Earlier in the day the same storm had stopped parts of Japan's bullet train system for over 3 hours, stranding nearly 28,000 people according to local media.
Highway bridges were also shut due to high winds.
One commuter at Shibuya station said he had waited for hours at his office hoping the train services would resume.
"I've been waiting in my office quite a while hoping the train service will resume," 60-year-old mechanical engineer Koji Miyazima said.
Another commuter, Kano Miyazima said she could not return home that night because of the wind and would have to find an alternative place to stay.
"I just saw my train is suspended. I may stay around here tonight because my place is too far to go by taxi," said 19-year-old clothes shop employee Kano, who lives in Saitama, an hour drive from Tokyo.
Japan's meteorological agency warned of strong waves in coastal areas and landslides from the storm, which is expected to pass over northern Japan on Wednesday (April 4).
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