Dozens hurt as typhoon Trami hammers Japan

The storm is predicted to move across the islands of Kyushu and the main island of Honshu on Sunday, a path similar to that taken by Jebi earlier in September.

Japan issued evacuation orders and warnings to about 700,000 households in southern and western Japan.

At least 51 people were injured in southern Japan, it said.

Scores of flights serving major airports on Japan's main islands had already been canceled.

Outlying islands in the Okinawan chain were being pounded by heavy rain.

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East Japan Railway said it would halt all train services in the Tokyo metropolitan area from 8 p.m. on Sunday and operations of some bullet trains were also suspended. Tokyo's train lines announced they were shutting down after 8pm (6pm in Thailand).

Jebi, was the most powerful storm to hit Japan in 25 years, it brought some of the highest tides since a 1961 typhoon and flooded Kansai airport near Osaka, taking it out of service for days. The terminal building was closed for the day and the monorail as well as bus service to the airport were also suspended.

In July, heavy rain in western Japan killed 221 people, setting off landslides and flooding.

At mid-morning Sunday, Trami was accelerating northeast, skimming the south coasts of Kyushu and Shikoku Islands.

The Yomiuri ShimbunAn extremely powerful typhoon was expected to bring violent winds and stormy weather to an extensive area stretching from western to northern Japan on Monday.

The Okinawa Times reported Saturday that at least 261 flights serving Naha International Airport were canceled, affecting more than 31,500 passengers.

If the forecast holds, it will be the latest in a series of extreme natural events to strike Japan.

Seventeen people suffered minor injuries in storm-related accidents in Okinawa and several houses suffered some damage but no one was feared dead, local officials said.

Authorities issued evacuation advisories to some 349,000 residents, while electricity was cut to more than 300,000 houses, according to public broadcaster NHK.

"We saw incredible winds and rain".

Images from the International Space Station posted on Twitter by astronaut Alexander Gerst on Tuesday showed Trami's enormous eye which he said was "as if somebody pulled the planet's huge plug".

Packing maximum gusts of 216 kilometres (134 miles) per hour, Trami was expected to travel over most of the archipelago, weakening slightly but causing extreme weather into Monday, forecasters said.

  • Jon Douglas