Source AP ©

Dozens fall victims to approaching typhoon in Tokyo

A typhoon closed in on the Japanese capital, killing one, injuring at least 35, disrupting traffic and cutting power to tens of thousands of homes.

Typhoon Fitow made landfall in Odawara in Kanagawa prefecture (state), just south of Tokyo, early Friday, public broadcaster NHK said. The typhoon was packing winds of up to 126 kilometers (78 miles) per hour Thursday evening, according to the Meteorological Agency.

Odawara is 72 kilometers (45 miles) south of Tokyo.

TV footage Thursday night showed people struggling to hold on to their umbrellas in Tokyo, where train services had been partially suspended.

The typhoon, which is a Category 1 storm, the weakest on a scale of 5, has dumped heavy precipitation on parts of Japan's main island of Honshu since Wednesday.

Meteorologists said Fitow was expected to bring up to 350 millimeters (14 inches) of rain to Tokyo and its vicinity by late Friday evening, and warnings were issued for possible landslides and flooding in the Tokyo vicinity.

They also warned the typhoon was potentially dangerous as its slow speed - about 20 kilometers (12 miles) per hour - allowed it time to pick up more moisture from the ocean, and also because its path directly over heavily populated areas, including the capital area where about 25 million people live.

A 76-year-old man was killed Thursday in central Japan, when a tree fell on him as he cleared away other toppled trees, Kyodo News agency said.

Thirty-five people have been injured in central Japan, according to public broadcaster NHK. In Shizuoka, a 93-year-old woman broke her leg after falling and two men sustained light injuries after the windshield of their car was broken, NHK said.

57,000 homes were without power in 10 prefectures (states) including Tokyo and authorities issued evacuation advisories to 950 homes in Shizuoka and two other prefectures, according to the broadcaster.

Shizuoka is 150 kilometers (94 miles) west of Tokyo.

Fifty-seven houses have been flooded in central Japan, the Fire and Disaster Management Agency said.

Hundreds of elementary and junior high schools in central Japan plan to close Friday, NHK said.

Fitow also grounded more than 200 domestic flights linking the capital and regional cities, affecting over 41,000 people, according to Kyodo. Airlines are expected to cancel flights early Friday.

Last month, Typhoon Usagi injured more than 16 people in southwestern Japan.

Typhoon Fitow was named after a flower in Micronesia.

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