A major airport that was cut off when a huge typhoon smashed through its sole access road was being evacuated on Wednesday, as Japan grappled with devastation caused by its most powerful storm in a quarter of a century.
Vehicles lie piled in a heap due to strong winds from typhoon Jebi in Kobe, Hyogo prefecture in Japan on September 5, 2018.
A large commercial ship was washed onto a breakwater, and shipping containers were left floating in the sea. It serves Osaka as well as the port city of Kobe and the ancient capital of Kyoto, all popular destinations for tourists. Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said at least 11 people had been confirmed dead and 470 people were injured.
An aerial shot of the tanker that crashed into the bridge between Kansai Airport and the mainland when Jebi swept through Osaka Prefecture.
Osaka Governor Ichiro Matsui, who visited Abe's office on Thursday, said he will request nearby airports in Osaka and Kobe to take some of the traffic expected to land at or depart Kansai airport until damage is repaired.
Around 10 percent of Japan's exports leave from Kansai airport, said Yusuke Ichikawa, senior economist at Mizuho Research Institute. A closure of the only worldwide airport serving one of Japan's key business and commercial areas has triggered concerns about its impact on Japan's tourism and economy.
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"More than anything else, I really want to take a bath", one woman told NHK public television.
The flights to be cancelled are TG672 from Suvarnabhumi airport at 8.25am, TG673 from Kansai at 5.35pm, TG622 from Suvarnabhumi at 11.30pm, TG623 from Kansai at 11.45am.
About 3,000 passengers are stranded at the facility as a result of severe flooding. "It was a rather scary night, as we were so isolated".
In Osaka, the Universal Studios Japan theme park remained closed for a second straight day.
Japan's JXTG Nippon Oil & Energy Corp shut at least one refining units at its 135,000 barrels-per-day Sakai refinery in Osaka due to typhoon damage to part of the cooling tower, the trade ministry said.
The deaths included a man in his 70s who was blown to the ground from his apartment in Osaka prefecture. Police said five others died elsewhere in the prefecture after being hit by flying objects or falling from their apartments. A storage building collapsed on a 71-year-old man in Shiga prefecture, while another man in his 70s died after falling from a roof in Mie.