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Typhoon downgraded to extratropical cyclone after hitting Japan

TOKYO - A powerful typhoon ripped through western Japan on Thursday, leaving one man dead and about 50 people injured, while greatly disrupting summer holiday traffic.

Over 7,000 residents evacuated their homes in parts of western and eastern Japan after the country's meteorological agency warned of record rainfall totaling 1,200 millimeters in Pacific coastal areas as well as landslides and floods.

Typhoon Krosa made landfall near Kure, Hiroshima Prefecture, around 3 p.m. and proceeded north to the Sea of Japan. As of midnight Thursday, it was moving at a speed of 35 kilometers per hour around 180 km north of Matsue in Shimane Prefecture, with an atmospheric pressure of 980 hectopascals at its center and packing winds of up to 126 kph.

As the season's 10th typhoon weakens and dissipates after crossing western Japan, it is expected to be downgraded to an extratropical cyclone by early Saturday, according to the agency.

(As of 9 p.m. Aug. 15)

[Source: Japan Meteorological Agency]

In Onomichi, Hiroshima Prefecture, an 82-year-old man was confirmed dead after falling into the sea Thursday morning while tying up a boat, apparently due to the strong wind.

A total of 49 people were injured from Wednesday through Thursday in 13 prefectures, while evacuations were ordered in 15 prefectures in western and southwestern Japan, according to a Kyodo News tally as well as data provided by the Fire and Disaster Management Agency.

Among the injured, a woman in her 60s in Tsu, Mie Prefecture, hit her hip after being blown over in strong wind on Wednesday. A man in his 60s sustained head injuries after falling from his bicycle.

A 65-year-old male guard's index and middle fingers were severed by a closing door in a parking lot of a commercial facility in Hikone, Shiga Prefecture, due to powerful winds caused by the typhoon.

In the Shikoku region in western Japan, strong winds and rain triggered a large rock slide that closed a main road in a mountain valley. A signboard measuring 5 meters long and 3.6 meters wide that was installed at a height of 7 meters was blown over in an internet cafe parking lot, but no one was injured.

West Japan Railway Co. suspended all Sanyo Shinkansen bullet train services operating Thursday between Shin-Osaka and Kokura but plans to resume them from Friday's first run. Local railway services in Okayama, Hiroshima and Yamaguchi prefectures were also canceled, according to the company.

Shikoku Railway Co. suspended all services on the western main island.

Japan Airlines Co. and All Nippon Airways Co. canceled around 480 domestic and international flights Thursday.

As the typhoon hit Japan in the middle of the Bon holiday season when people return to their hometowns, long lines were seen at Shin-Osaka Station with travelers trying to purchase Tokyo-bound shinkansen tickets.

(A tourist (bottom R) sits on the floor at JR Hakata Station in Fukuoka, southwestern Japan, on Aug. 15, 2019, as shinkansen bullet train operations are halted for the day due to the approach of powerful typhoon Krosa.)

JR Tokyo Station was also busier than usual as the typhoon coincided with a rush of travelers returning from holidays. Central Japan Railway Co. has reduced Tokaido Shinkansen services between Tokyo and Shin-Osaka due to the typhoon.

"I was worried whether shinkansen services will stop, so I returned home six hours earlier than scheduled. I'm glad I made it home," said 32-year-old Hiroshi Murakami, a company worker in Tokyo who traveled to Nagoya in central Japan with his wife.

In a valley in Kusu, Oita Prefecture, a group of 18 people including children were rescued Thursday morning after they were stranded the previous day when a river rose to dangerous levels, local officials said.

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