Fuel tanker smashes into bridge in Japan during massive typhoon

Fuel tanker smashes into bridge in Japan during massive typhoon

Vehicles damaged by Typhoon Jebi are seen in Osaka, western Japan, in this photo taken by Kyodo on September 4, 2018.

"It is possible that (Jebi) will make landfall while maintaining its extreme strength", said Ryuta Kurora, the agency's chief forecaster.

Local media reported at least three deaths in the storm, including a 71-year-old man killed in western Shiga prefecture after being trapped under a warehouse that collapsed in strong wind.

Evacuation advisories were issued for more than 300,000 people as the wind and rain from Typhoon Jebi began to intensify on Tuesday afternoon.

The typhoon may also bring further downpours to areas that were devastated by sudden rainfall in early July that killed more than 200 people.

Wind gusts of up to 208 km/h were recorded in one part of Shikoku, with forecasts as high as 216 km/h.

Japan is being pounded by the strongest typhoon to hit the nation in 25 years, which made landfall on Tuesday with so much force that it smashed a huge tanker ship into a bridge.

Nationwide, the storm forced the cancelation of around 800 domestic and global flights, while commercial facilities such as a popular theme park in Osaka and department stores were also closed.

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ANA Holdings Inc said Tuesday morning it was cancelling 247 domestic and eight worldwide flights, while Japan Airlines Co pulled 176 domestic flights.

Meanwhile tides in some areas are being reported as the highest since a 1961 typhoon with flooding covering the runways at Kansai International Airport in Osaka.

The storm was heading north across a swath of Japans main island of Honshu toward the Sea of Japan. All flights were cancelled at Kansai.

It is the first typhoon to land on Japan with a maximum sustained wind speed of 44 meters or more per second since the 13th typhoon of 1993, according to the agency. Shinkansen bullet train services between Tokyo and Okayama were suspended and Universal Studios Japan, a popular amusement park near Osaka, was closed. Typhoon Jebi will cross the Sea of Japan on Tuesday night and fade into an extratropical cyclone on Wednesday.

It's now typhoon season in Japan which provides an annual tirade of extreme weather.

There are warnings of high waves, flooding and mudslides.

Since the disaster, authorities have urged people to take evacuation warnings more seriously and prepare to evacuate immediately when the warnings are issued.

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