Source Pravda.Ru

Strong Typhoon Hits Japan: Two People Killed

Two people were killed as Thursday a strong typhoon brought heavy rain and winds to Japan , shuttering factories, closing schools and stranding commuters and travelers at airports and train stations.

Another 64 people were injured, according to local media reports, after Typhoon Melor reached landfall in Japan's Aichi prefecture early Thursday morning.

A man pointed to a wall torn down by high winds from the third floor of a house in Tsuchiura City, north of Tokyo, Thursday.

Still, initial damage reports suggested the typhoon, while powerful, did not cause the type of widespread devastation initially feared. Meteorologists had been warning that the storm could be the most powerful to hit Japan in more than a decade. Melor was the first typhoon to reach landfall in Japan in two years.

The storm was expected to drift off the country's eastern coast into the Pacific Ocean by Thursday evening. An official at Japan's meteorological agency said the storm weakened as it moved along the eastern coast, preventing heavier damage.

The typhoon brought wind speeds of about 160 kilometers per hour while dumping 30 centimeters of rain in some regions, according to Japan's meteorological agency , The Wall Street Journal reports.

In the meantime, Japan's meteorological agency warned that large parts of the country, including Tokyo, and the western industrial hub of Osaka, were at high risk of landslides as the typhoon moved along the archipelago.

Japanese car company Toyota announced that because of the typhoon it would halt production at all 12 of its domestic plants for one day.

It was also reported, the storm ripped off roofs and downed power lines as it swept through Honshu. The typhoon had weakened slightly as it churned across Honshu, but was "still very dangerous," said Takeo Tanaka, a weather forecaster from the agency.

"Winds are violent and rain is torrential. You should also be on guard against mudslides."

Typhoon Melor was later downgraded to a tropical storm, Aljazeera.net reports.
News agencies also report, the two people killed were a 54-year-old newspaper delivery man in Wakayama, who ran into a fallen tree, and a 69-year-old man from Saitama, who was crushed by a tree, CNN International reports.
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