Hundreds of Japan flights canceled as Thursday storm looms

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TOKYO (Aug 14): Hundreds of flights and bullet train services within Japan were canceled as severe tropical storm Krosa bore down on the country’s southwestern flank.

The transportation services were halted on forecasts for sustained winds of as much as 67 miles per hour (100 kilometers per hour) for a storm that’s set to make landfall Thursday, according to the Japan Meteorological Agency.

The tropical storm could also drop as much as 100 centimeters (39 inches) of rain Wednesday and Thursday in the Shikoku region, just as many Japanese visit their hometowns for the traditional summer holidays this week. Flood alerts were issued, including for some regions that last year suffered historic rainfall, flooding and landslides last that killed more than 100 people.

ANA Holdings Inc’s All Nippon Airways is canceling 105 domestic flights for Thursday and is considering calling off some international services. Japan Airlines Co will cancel 92 flights, following the cancellation of 62 flights Wednesday, which affected about 4,680 passengers. Japan Air Commuter Co and also grounded some of their flights.

West Japan Railway Co said it’s halting bullet train services tomorrow between Shin-Osaka and Kokura, Fukuoka, on concern the weather could interfere with operating safety. Kyushu Railway Co said it will reduce its bullet-train operations tomorrow, while Shikoku Railway Co said it is stopping all train services for Thursday to ensure safety.

Toyota Motor Corp said its plants haven’t been affected because they are closed for the holiday, while Nissan Motor Co and Honda Motor Co were not able to comment immediately as their public relations offices were closed.

As much as 50 centimeters of rain was forecast for the Kinki area, which includes Osaka, in the 24 hours started at 6pm Wednesday, according to the weather agency. Tides may rise to as much as 10 meters in the Shikoku region and 9 meters in Tokai, Kinki and Kyushu, the agency said.