Central Japan braces for Typhoon Lan arrival with air, rail cancellations

Japan braced for Typhoon Lan to make landfall, with airlines and railways cancelling services in central areas of the country's main island, where it is expected to strike on Tuesday.

Heavy rain during Typhoon Lan as it passes over Chichijima Island in Ogasawara, Tokyo Prefecture, Japan August 11, 2023 in this screen grab obtained from a social media video.

Lan, the seventh tropical storm of the season, was over the Pacific Ocean near central Japan, headed northwest at 15 kilometres per hour (9.3 miles per hour) on Monday, with a maximum wind speed of 139 kph and gusts of up to 195 kph, the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) said.

The outer edge of the storm is forecast to reach the coast of Wakayama prefecture around 9 a.m. (0000 GMT), then head north over the major population centres of Osaka and Kyoto. The JMA warned of heavy rain and winds, and the risk of floods and landslides.

Japan Airlines and ANA Holdings cancelled many flights in the path of the storm. West Japan Railway announced the suspensions of Tokaido Shinkansen bullet train routes between Nagoya and Osaka all day on Tuesday, as well as the Sanyo Shinkansen between Osaka and Okayama.

The storm comes on the heels of Typhoon Khanun, which meandered in the northwest Pacific for days before lashing southern Japan, then heading north to batter South Korea, China, and the Russian Far East.

Typhoon Lan threatens to disrupt one of Japan's busiest travel seasons during the Obon summer holiday, when many people take vacations and return to their hometowns.

Universal Studios Japan said it would close its theme park in Osaka on Tuesday, while the Koshien national high school baseball tournament, a summer tradition watched by millions, cancelled all games for the day.