Typhoon brings heavy rain, powerful winds to western Japan

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Others have made a decision to operate less frequently, according to public broadcaster NHK. There were no reports of injuries. And thousands of people have been stranded at Kansai International Airport, located on an artificial island in Osaka Bay, after flooding and damage to the bridge leading to the airport. It had been anchored nearby, but strong wind caused it to drift.

More than 700 flights were cancelled.

ANA Holdings Inc. and Japan Airlines Co. canceled a total of 560 domestic and 13 worldwide flights, while Kansai global Airport closed its runways as the typhoon approached, local broadcaster NHK reported. High-speed bullet train services were suspended from Tokyo west to Hiroshima.

"This is (the strongest) since 1993", Kurora also said.

As the storm approached, Abe called a disaster response meeting and cancelled a trip to western Japan.

After hitting western Japan, Jebi is set to speed up further as it passes over the main island of Honshu and into the Sea of Japan, where it will weaken.

Japanese government spokesperson Yoshihide Suga urged the public to move to safer places and added that it would take all possible means to prepare for a possible crisis.

A powerful typhoon slammed into western Japan on Tuesday, causing heavy rain to flood the region's main worldwide airport and strong winds to blow a tanker into a bridge, disrupting land and air travel and leaving thousands stranded.

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Some of the areas affected are still recovering from devastating record rains that killed at least 200 people over the summer.

Evacuation advisories were issued for more than 300,000 people as the wind and rain from Typhoon Jebi began to intensify on Tuesday afternoon. Television footage showed sea water overflowing onto low-lying areas.

Elsewhere in Osaka, the Universal Studios Japan theme park and U.S. Consulate were both closed.

More than 175,000 buildings in central and western Japan were without power, according to a tally compiled by Bloomberg News of local utilities.

A tanker smashed into the bridge linking Kansai International Airport with the mainland on Tuesday as strong winds and high waves from a powerful typhoon blasted western Japan.

People try to hold umbrellas in strong wind triggered by Jebi in Osaka.

The agency warned residents to be on high alert for heavy rain, violent winds, high waves, landslides, inundation of lowland areas and river swelling. It was hit in July with lethal floods and landslides, leaving hundreds of people dead.