Typhoon Trami lashes Japan with 104 miles per hour winds, rain

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A powerful typhoon unleashed heavy winds and rain on southern Japan this weekend as it slowly marched northeast toward the nation's main islands Sunday morning.

A worker clears branches of a fallen tree affected by a typhoon in Naha, Okinawa prefecture, southern Japan.

Jiji Press news agency quoted airport authorities as saying Kansai's two runways would be closed from 11:00am Sunday as a precautionary measure.

Both airline groups cancelled all flights to and from Naha, Ishigaki and Miyako airports in Okinawa Prefecture.

Many flights were cancelled at major airports throughout Japan, including Tokyo's Narita and Haneda, as Typhoon Trami approached.

Trami, which at its height packed maximum gusts of 216 kilometers (134 miles) per hour, was expected to churn over most of the archipelago, weakening slightly but causing extreme weather into Monday, forecasters said.

As of noon September 29, the typhoon was about 40 kilometers south-southeast of Okinawa's Kumejima island and moving northward at a speed of 20 kph.

East Japan Railway Co. shut down all of its train services in the Tokyo Metropolitan area around 8 p.m.

Over Sept. 30 to October 1, the typhoon is expected to hit the Amami Islands, southern Kyushu, Shikoku and the Kinki regions in southwestern and western Japan with strong winds of up to 45 m/s (162 kph), with maximum gusts hitting 60 m/s (216 kph).

The main global gateway to western Japan was forced to close earlier this month after a runway and a terminal building were flooded amid high tides when Typhoon Jebi made landfall in the region on Sept 4. The typhoon comes less than a month after the country's strongest storm in 25 years hit western Japan.

The airlines advised passengers to consult their websites for information about the latest changes, delays and cancellations, which might also affect flights to and from other Japanese airports than Kansai.

Japan Meteorological Agency issued warning of landslides and flooding from possible storm surges. Train service in Kyoto, Osaka and Kobe districts, as well as the bullet train between Tokyo and western Japan, will be suspended through portions of Sunday, NHK said.

"People in Okinawa are used to typhoons but we are strongly urging them to stay vigilant", he told AFP.

East Japan Railway stopped all train services in and around Tokyo at 8pm, shortly before the typhoon was to draw near the Japanese capital.

Deadly record rainfall hit western Japan earlier this year and the country sweltered through one of the hottest summers on record.

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