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Hundreds of flights cancelled as Typhoon Mindulle lashes Tokyo

Published 22/08/2016

Hundreds of flights to and from Tokyo were cancelled due to the typhoon
Hundreds of flights to and from Tokyo were cancelled due to the typhoon

Strong winds from a typhoon forced air traffic controllers to temporarily abandon the control tower at Narita International Airport in Tokyo, causing hundreds of flight cancellations.

Narita Airport was closed at 2.20pm local time on Monday after the controllers left the tower when wind speeds reached 78mph. It reopened around an hour later.

Typhoon Mindulle, which made landfall south of Tokyo early on Monday afternoon, brought heavy rain and strong winds to Tokyo and surrounding areas, with 11 people reported to have been injured.

South of Tokyo in Kanagawa prefecture, a woman was left unconscious after being washed away on a flooded road, and another woman, in her 80s, was blown over by strong winds and seriously injured. Further south-west on the Izu Peninsula, a man in his 30s was knocked over by winds and broke a rib.

Narita, which is located outside of Tokyo, said 88 international and 34 domestic departures and arrivals had been cancelled. More than 400 domestic flights were cancelled to and from Tokyo's other major airport, Haneda.

Mindulle had sustained winds of 67mph by Monday evening, down from 78mph when it made landfall, with gusts of up to 100mph. It is forecast to move north over the Tohoku region and reach Japan's northern island of Hokkaido on Tuesday.

Japanese television showed scattered damage around the region. One house had lost much of its roof, while a train on a small commuter line in western Tokyo had to be evacuated after the earth under the tracks gave way. No-one was injured.

Heavy rains have swollen rivers, and authorities have warned of the possibility of flooding and landslides.

AP

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