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At Least Eight Dead As Typhoon Slams Western Japan

Strong winds inundated the region's main international airport and blew a tanker into a bridge.

A powerful typhoon has slammed into western Japan, inundating the region's main international airport and blowing a tanker into a bridge, leaving thousands stranded.

At least eight people died and dozens were injured as Jebi, reportedly the strongest typhoon to make landfall in Japan since 1993, headed north across the main island of Honshu on Tuesday.

It was off the northern coast of Fukui on Tuesday evening with sustained winds of up to 126km/h and gusts of up to 180km/h, the Japan Meteorological Agency said.

High waves triggered by Typhoon Jebi are seen at a fishing port in Aki, Kochi Prefecture, western Japan. Image: Reuters

More than 7000 flights were cancelled, according to Japanese media.

High-speed bullet train services were suspended from Tokyo west to Hiroshima, though service partially resumed later on Tuesday when the typhoon left the region.

More than 1.6 million households remained without power in Osaka, Kyoto and four nearby prefectures late on Tuesday, according to Kansai Electric Power.

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High seas poured into Kansai International Airport, built on artificial islands in Osaka Bay, flooding ones of its two runways, cargo storage and other facilities and forcing it to shut down, said the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism.

A passenger was slightly injured by shards from a window shattered by the storm.

A 2591-tonne tanker that was mooring slammed into the side of a bridge connecting the airport to the mainland, damaging the bridge and making it unusable. It left about 3000 passengers stranded at the airport.

The tanker was also damaged but its 11 crew members were not injured and remained on board, according to the coast guard.

Boats float along with debris during typhoon Jebi in Nishinomiya City, Hyogo Prefecture, Japan. Image: Reuters

NHK public television showed passengers sitting or lying on the floor in the airport terminal in the dark and without air conditioning.

A man is his 70s is believed to have died after being blown to the ground from his apartment in the Osaka prefecture. Police said five others died elsewhere in the prefecture.

In the nearby Shiga prefecture, a 71-year-old man died when a storage building collapsed on him and another man in his 70s died after falling from a roof in Mie, officials said.

The Fire and Disaster Management Agency said 150 people were injured.

Intense high wind from Typhoon Jebi blows in Nishinomiya City, Hyogo Prefecture, Japan. Image: Reuters

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe cancelled a scheduled trip to Kyushu, Japan's southernmost main island, to oversee the government's response to the typhoon, said Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga.

In nearby Nishinomiya in the Hyogo prefecture, about 100 cars at a seaside dealership were in flames after their electrical systems were shorted out by sea water, fire officials and news reports said.

The typhoon first made landfall on Japan's southwest island of Shikoku and then again near Kobe on Honshu.

Tokyo escaped relatively unscathed, but with some intermittent squalls.

Jebi’s course has brought it close to parts of western Japan hit by rains and flooding that killed more than 200 people in July.

Feature Image: Reuters