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September 14, 2018

Strongest typhoon in 25 years wreaks havoc and leaves a trail of destruction

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Typhoon Jebi wreaked havoc on mainland Japan, causing millions to evacuate and hundreds of flights to be canceled.

So far, 11 deaths have been attributed to Typhoon Jebi according to CNN. The major storm hit on Tuesday, September 4. 

Ryuta Kurora, the weather agency's chief forecaster, said that the last major typhoon to hit was Yancy back in 1993.

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The strong winds of up to 208 kilometers per hour (129 mph) were equivalent to that of an Atlantic Category 1 hurricane.

The storm pushed an 89-meter-long tanker, the Houunmaru, into the side of an Osaka bridge. The bridge connects Kansai Airport to the mainland. 

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The tanker dislodged a part of the road with the force from its upper decks, leading to traffic closure. Thankfully all eleven crew members were left uninjured according to Keita Sakai, the Coast Guard's spokesman. 

The 3,000 passengers that were subsequently trapped in the Kobe airport were allowed to cross the bridge on Wednesday. They took buses to Izumisano Station in Osaka City. 

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Others traveled via boats which carried 110 passengers back and forth repeatedly till all were across and could catch alternative flights at Kansai airport. 

An overall estimate of 400 people were injured according to the Fire and Disaster Management Agency. Almost 800 flights were canceled, trains suspended, and over two million homes went through blackouts. 

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Initially, the typhoon hit Shikoku island at noon yesterday. Hours later it made landfall heading north on Japan's main island, Honshu. 

Tokyo remains unaffected by the storm. But at least 187 cars on Honshu caught on fire, while others were collected by the wind and packed together.

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Seven of the deceased were in Osaka Prefecture, while the rest were in Mie, Aichi, and Shiga. The latter was in Higashiomi City where the man was in a warehouse that collapsed.

Japan has had a tough summer of weather this year. Recently in July, 80 people succumbed to intense heat waves. Before that, more than 200 died due to flooding and landslides.

Jebi, which means "swallow" in Japanese, has a trajectory that looks to be the same as Typhon Cimaron, which also touched down last month. People are currently being urged to look out for landslides and flooding. 

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