TOKYO — Japan advised more than 1 million people to evacuate their homes Tuesday and canceled hundreds of flights as the west coast was hit with high winds and heavy rain in what was described as the worst typhoon in 25 years.
Typhoon Jebi, whose name means swallow in Korean, is the latest spate of record-breaking, deadly weather patterns to hit the nation this summer, after historic floods, landslides and a heat wave together killed at least 300 people. At least six people were killed, according to local media outlets.
The heat wave in Japan was part of a pattern of hotter weather in several parts of the world that scientists have blamed on a warming planet.
Japan will be hoping for cooler, calmer conditions when it hosts the Olympic Games in the summer of 2020.
Kyodo News said Jebi was the strongest typhoon to make landfall since 1993, while NHK public television said tides in some areas were the highest since a typhoon in 1961.
Strong winds brought down a company’s warehouse in Shiga prefecture, killing a 71-year-old man, and another died in Osaka after being blown from his apartment, according to local media reports. NHK said 160 had been injured.
The typhoon first made landfall on the island of Shikoku, where wind gusts of up to 129 mph were recorded. Around four inches of rain drenched one part of the tourist city of Kyoto in an hour, the Associated Press reported, with as much as 20 inches set to fall in some areas in the 24 hours leading up to noon Wednesday.
Nearly 800 flights were canceled, according to Japanese media reports, while the Shinkansen bullet train services between Tokyo and Hiroshima were also suspended. Water covered one runway at Kansai International Airport, built on an artificial island in Osaka Bay. A tanker also collided with a bridge leading to the airport, forcing it to close down entirely and leaving around 3,000 tourists stranded.
In Osaka itself, the Universal Studios Japan amusement park and U.S. Consulate were both closed, agencies reported.
More than 175,000 people lost power in western Japan, according to the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, while more than a million people were advised to leave their homes by the Fire and Disaster Management Agency.