TOKYO — Typhoon Roke made landfall in Japan on Wednesday, claiming six lives, flooding riverbanks, halting train service and stranding hordes of commuters.
A fierce wind and heavy rain descended on Tokyo around midday intensifying into the early evening hours. The storm is currently making its way north to the area hit by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami.
Kyodo News said the storm is packing winds of up to 134 miles per hour and television channels showed people struggling to walk down the street with twisted umbrellas in hand. Authorities have advised people to stay indoors until the storm passes.
According to press reports, at least six lives have been lost in the storm. Kyodo News reported that about 7,800 people were instructed to evacuate their homes while another 1.21 million people were urged to evacuate as a precautionary measure.
Scores of office workers headed home early in anticipation of the storm. Many others are stranded in stations waiting for train service to resume, walking home or waiting in long lines for buses or taxis.
So far damage in the capital appears minor. National television broadcaster NHK showed footage of an uprooted tree in the busy downtown Shibuya that fell on a taxi but said no injuries were reported.