Typhoon Trami Batters Japan, Halting Tokyo’s Trains for the First Time Ever

September 30, 2018, 4:50 PM UTC

A typhoon is bringing Tokyo to a standstill.

East Japan Railway Co., which operates major rail lines in the Japanese capital, suspended all train services in the Tokyo area from 8 p.m. on Sunday in preparation for Typhoon Trami, which made landfall in the west of the country.

It is the first time for the rail operator to take such action, as far as can be confirmed, national broadcaster NHK reported. Most train services in the Japanese capital are expected to resume operations Monday morning, according to NHK.

Kansai International Airport, which serves the greater Osaka area in western Japan, closed two runways from 11 a.m. on Sunday through 6 a.m. on Monday to prepare for the possible impact of Trami, according to a statement on its website. Parts of the Tozai metro line in Tokyo also suspended service after 9 p.m. Greater Tokyo is the world’s largest metropolis with a population of about 36 million people.

The typhoon made landfall in western Japan’s Wakayama prefecture Sunday night, and strong winds and rain had already begun to affect Tokyo before midnight, according to the Japan Meteorological Agency. Central Japan may be hit by record winds and there is the risk of record high waves in the Tokai area, where Nagoya is located and Toyota Motor Corp. is based.

Trami, the 24th typhoon of the season, swept the southern islands of Okinawa and Kyushu Sunday morning, and maintained wind gusts of up to 213 kilometers per hour (132 mph) as it moved northwards, according to the JMA.

More than 185,000 homes and offices had power outages as of 9 p.m. on Sunday in the southern Kyushu region, according to Kyushu Electric Power Co., while about 118,000 buildings were without power in Okinawa as of 9:50 p.m. according to Okinawa Electric Power Co. There have been more than 1,000 flight cancellations by various airlines on Sunday, and some stoppages have also been announced for Monday, NHK reported.

Tides of up to 3.9 meters, with the potential to overflow coastal barriers, may occur in the Tokai region, according to the Japan Weather Association.

Trami follows on the heels of several large typhoons to hit major Asian population centers this month, including Jebi, which forced the closure of Kansai International Airport. Some Tokyo train lines stopped running even before 8 p.m. Sunday, with the central Tokyo Yamanote loop line and others halting at 8 p.m., according to notices on the East Japan Railway website.

About 80 people have been injured across southwestern Japan, while over 4.3 million people were given evacuation orders or warnings, according to national broadcaster NHK. The bullet train service between Kumamoto and central Kagoshima was also halted, according to the Kyushu Railway Co.