Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced that domestic flights will resume at Kansai International Airport (KIX) near Osaka beginning late Friday (local time), September 7. The airport, which services Osaka, Kyoto, Kobe, and adjacent areas, will remain closed for international flights until further notice. Residual flight cancelations and delays are expected in the coming days and weeks.
At least 11 people were killed from Typhoon Jebi and 470 others injured as of Wednesday, September 5, according to a government spokesman. The typhoon brought strong winds and heavy rain, resulting in structural damage, flooding, and power outages. Continued power outages and transportation disruptions are expected in the region over the next several days.
Kansai airport closed following the arrival of Typhoon Jebi on Tuesday, September 4, which resulted in flooding of the main runway, the basement of a terminal, and several service buildings. The storm also pushed an empty oil tanker into the causeway that connects the airport, which is built on a manmade island, to the mainland, causing damage to the bridge and stranding at least 3000 passengers until Wednesday, September 5.
Typhoon Jebi made landfall east of Kobe in Hyogo prefecture on Tuesday, resulting in the deaths of at least ten people and injuring more than 300 others. The typhoon was reportedly the strongest storm since 1993 and brought sustained winds of 160 km/h (100 mph) to the island, causing widespread damage, flooding, and power outages to 1.5 million people.
Individuals traveling via KIX in the near-term are advised to monitor developments to the situation, verify the status of their flights prior to departure to the airport, and allow for additional transit time to and from the airport. Individuals in the abovementioned areas are advised to monitor local weather reports, anticipate transportation and power disruptions, obey instructions issued by the local authorities, and avoid flood-prone areas until the situation stabilizes. Remember that driving or walking through running water can be dangerous - 15 cm (6 in) of running water is enough to knock over an adult - and that floodwater may contain wastewater or chemical products; all items having come into contact with the water should be disinfected and all foodstuffs discarded.
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