Jebi, strongest typhoon to strike mainland Japan in 25 years, claims lives and leaves destruction

By Eric Leister, AccuWeather senior meteorologist
September 05, 2018, 8:47:11 AM EDT

Former Typhoon Jebi slammed into southern Japan on Tuesday, causing widespread damage, power outages and travel disruptions.

The typhoon brought sustained winds over 160 km/h (100 mph) as it made landfall in Tokushima Prefecture around midday Tuesday, making it the strongest to strike the Japan mainland since Typhoon Yancy in 1993.

Yancy was one of the costliest and deadliest typhoons to hit Japan in recent decades, and while the full extent of damage from Jebi remains to be seen, early reports indicate significant damage and multiple fatalities.

Jebi Reuters 9/4

Vehicles damaged by Typhoon Jebi are seen in Osaka, western Japan, in this photo taken September 4, 2018. (Kyodo/via REUTERS)

According to national broadcaster NHK, at least 11 people were killed and more than 300 injured by the fierce tropical cyclone which struck from Tuesday into Tuesday night. Several of the deaths were caused by flying debris.

Jebi made a second landfall just east of Kobe in Hyogo Prefecture early Tuesday afternoon, bringing destructive winds and blinding downpours, according to the Japan Times.

Nearby Osaka faced the brunt of the second landfall as nearly 1.5 million people were left without power during the height of the storm. More than 400,000 people remained without power on Wednesday. The Osaka area reported wind gusts over 200 km/h (125 mph) the strongest to hit the city in 57 years, according to Kyodo News.

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West Pacific Typhoon Center

Jebi’s powerful winds pulled a tanker into a train bridge in Osaka Bay, which caused severe damage and cut off rail transportation to Kansai International Airport.

Flooding at Kansai International Airport forced closure of the entire airport on Tuesday. The airport will be closed indefinitely and in total more than 700 flights have been canceled due to Jebi across southern and central Japan.

Some of the nearly 5,000 people that were stranded at the airport were able to return to the mainland on Wednesday afternoon as buses and boats were able to reach the island airport for the first time since Jebi's arrival.

Train service has also faced severe delays and numerous cancellations due to high winds and damage from Jebi.

Numerous trucks were blown over on bridges and highways across Shikoku and southern Honshu causing road closures.

Jebi AP 9/4

Pedestrians try to hold their umbrellas while struggling with strong winds in Yokohama, near Tokyo, Tuesday, Sept. 4, 2018. (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara)

Tokyo was spared the worst of Jebi’s impacts as brief downpours and strong winds left commuters struggling on the city's streets; however, no widespread damage or travel disruptions were reported.

Jebi is the fourth typhoon to strike Japan this year and follows Cimaron, which crossed the country less than two weeks ago.

Japan also endured its worst flooding disaster in decades earlier this summer as more than 220 people were killed following days of heavy rainfall in southern Japan. This was followed by a deadly heat wave that killed more than 100 people and included the highest ever recorded temperature in Japan.

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