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Typhoon (Melor) is nearing Tokyo – to hit tomorrow AM

UPDATE (after the storm): TOKYO – A strong typhoon brought heavy rain and winds to Japan Thursday, killing two people and shuttering factories, closing schools and stranding commuters and travelers at airports and train stations.
Another 64 people were injured, according to local media reports, after Typhoon Melor reached landfall in Japan’s Aichi prefecture early Thursday morning.
Still, initial damage reports suggested the typhoon, while powerful, did not cause the type of widespread devastation initially feared. Meteorologists had been warning that the storm could be the most powerful to hit Japan in more than a decade. Melor was the first typhoon to reach landfall in Japan in two years.
The storm was expected to drift off the country’s eastern coast into the Pacific Ocean by Thursday evening. An official at Japan’s meteorological agency said the storm weakened as it moved along the eastern coast, preventing heavier damage.
The typhoon brought wind speeds of about 160 kilometers per hour while dumping 30 centimeters of rain in some regions, according to Japan’s meteorological agency.
One 54-year-old man was killed while delivering newspapers when his bike hit a fallen tree in the early morning, while a 69-year-old man died in Satima prefecture near Tokyo after a tree fell on him, according to local police officials.
Many factories in the manufacturing-rich prefectures in central Japan were shut from the storm.
Toyota Motor Corp. said it closed 12 car and car-part factories in Aichi prefecture in central Japan. Honda Motor Co. said it also halted production for the day at a central Japan facility.
Sony Corp. delayed the opening of four plants in Aichi, Gifu and Shizuoka prefectures. All are in central Japan. Among the products made at the facilities are liquid crystal display televisions, digital cameras and camcorders. Sony said there was no damage to any of its factories in the area.
Many public elementary and middle schools in Tokyo and Osaka were closed for the day as a precautionary measure.
Bullet train service was stopped in certain parts of Japan and major subway and rail lines within the Tokyo area were suspended, making life difficult to many morning commuters. Some major roadways were temporarily closed in central Japan and more than 400 flights were cancelled.
Typhoon Melor is currently off the coast of Japan down near Okinawa. Storm track has Melor hitting Tokyo tomorrow AM sometime. Take a look at the estimated track below… click for the latest storm track

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