Typhoon Melor and Heavy Rains Kills Two in Japan

TOKYO, Oct. 8 (UPI) — Typhoon Melor, accompanied by heavy rains, smashed into Japan Thursday, killing at least two people in the latest disaster to strike the Asia-Pacific region.

Melor, packing powerful winds, hit Aichi Prefecture’s Chita Peninsula early Thursday, the first such storm to make landfall in Japan in two years, storm forecasters said.

At least 64 people were injured and the storm disrupted transportation in a wide area, the Kyodo news agency reported. The Japan Meteorological Agency said the storm was expected to continue moving across the main island of Honshu and to approach the northern island of Hokkaido early Friday.

One of the two dead was a 54-year-old man hit by a falling tree as he delivered newspapers. A 69-year-old man died when a tree branch fell on him.

Kyodo reported 18 Tokaido Shinkansen bullet-train runs were canceled, and the Tohoku, Joetsu, Yamagata, Akita and Nagano lines were temporarily suspended in some sections. Train service also was disrupted in Tokyo.

The Asia-Pacific region, stretching from the Samoas in the Pacific Ocean to Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam and Cambodia, has been devastated by a number of disasters, including tsunamis, earthquakes, typhoons and massive flooding in recent days.

The worst hit was Indonesia’s Sumatra province where a 7.6 earthquake, followed by a smaller one, killed thousands, including many buried in the rubble of fallen structures. The death toll from other disasters in other countries reached more than 500 and displaced tens of thousands of people.

Copyright 2009 by United Press International

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