Violent storm leaves four dead in Japan

A huge storm killed at least four people in Japan.

Tokyo: A huge storm killed at least four
people in Japan, police said on Wednesday, as violent wind and rain
battered the nation and disrupted transport for a second day.

The storm has moved east and is now covering all of the
north of Japan`s main island of Honshu and much of the
northernmost island of Hokkaido, buffeting the region with
strong winds caused by what meteorologists say is a severe
low-pressure system.

On Sado island, on Honshu`s northwest, gusts of up to
156 kilometres per hour were recorded.

The dead included a 96-year-old man who fell from the
roof of a three-storey house during high winds and a
28-year-old woman who was hit by a falling tree while walking
a dog.

The storm temporarily reduced electricity supplies to
the Onagawa nuclear power plant, in Miyagi prefecture, halting
the cooling system for a fuel pool, operator Tohoku-Electric
Power Company said.

Plant workers manually restarted the cooling system after
about 20 minutes, it said. "There was no problem in the
operation," a company spokesman added.

All reactors at the plant are currently idle.
The stormy weather also cut electricity supplies to
132,000 households in the northern Tohoku region as of
mid-afternoon today, according to the utility.

Transport was widely disrupted on yesterday as the storm
moved through Japan, with about 600 domestic flights
cancelled, affecting some 74,000 passengers.

Today,72 flights were grounded, stranding around 6,000
people. Many commuter lines and some shinkansen bullet train
services were also suspended because of the wind.