Typhoon stranded 17,000 at Tokyo airport: operator

A police officer ispects a fallen utility pole downed by winds caused by Typhoon Faxai in Kamakura, Kanagawa prefecture on September 9, 2019. (AFP / JIJI PRESS)
Updated 10 September 2019

Typhoon stranded 17,000 at Tokyo airport: operator

  • Narita Airport was right in the line of fire of Typhoon Faxai, which brought winds of up to 207 kilometers per hour

TOKYO: Around 17,000 passengers were stranded overnight at Tokyo’s Narita Airport, an official said Tuesday, after it took a direct hit from a powerful typhoon that caused transport chaos throughout the capital.
The typhoon caused more than 100 flights to be scrapped and road and rail links to the airport were also badly affected, leaving many with no transport options to the city — 70 kilometers (45 miles) to the west.
Airport spokesman Kei Miyahara told AFP that a total of 16,900 were stuck at the airport at midnight.
“Passengers are now beginning to go home or to their final destinations as buses and trains have resumed operations,” Miyahara said early Tuesday.
Narita Airport, located in Chiba to the east of Tokyo, was right in the line of fire of Typhoon Faxai, which brought winds of up to 207 kilometers (129 miles) per hour.
Suburban trains throughout the huge Tokyo metropolitan area were not reopened until 8 am on Monday as officials checked for debris and damage. This sparked pandemonium during the notoriously busy morning commute.
The chaos came as Japan is preparing to host the Rugby World Cup later this month and with the 2020 Tokyo Olympics just around the corner.
There was “minor” disruption to some teams’ schedules, admitted a Rugby World Cup spokesman, with Australia’s arrival delayed and the England team stuck for hours at the airport.
They passed the time in a particularly English way by playing cricket.
The airport said it delivered 2,000 bottles of water, 19,000 bags of crackers and 18,000 bed rolls to stranded passengers.
“We delivered information in English and Japanese on digital signs, and made announcements in four languages” including Chinese and Korean, said Miyahara.
However, there was mass frustration and passengers complained about a lack of information and long queues for taxis.
The airport operator will review their experiences and draw lessons later, Miyahara said.


Protests in New Delhi against India’s citizenship law ahead of Trump visit

Updated 17 min 27 sec ago

Protests in New Delhi against India’s citizenship law ahead of Trump visit

  • Hundreds of people supporting the new law clashed with those opposing it
  • The protest comes just a day before US President Donald Trump begins a two-day visit to India

NEW DELHI: Police used tear gas to disperse large crowds in India’s capital of New Delhi on Sunday in the latest eruption of violence at protests over a new citizenship law, police officials said.
Hundreds of people supporting the new law clashed with those opposing it, with the two groups pelting each other with stones in the Maujpur area in the northeastern part of the city, according to television footage.
“There must be some miscreants who want to spoil the peace in the area. We will identify them and take action against them,” Alok Kumar, a senior Delhi police official, told reporters about the protest.
“The situation is under control now,” he added.
The protest comes just a day before US President Donald Trump begins a two-day visit to India, where he is expected to raise the issue of religious freedom in the country with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
India’s Citizenship Amendment Act, which eases the path for non-Muslims from neighboring Muslim-majority nations to gain citizenship, has triggered weeks of sometimes violent protests against Modi’s government.
The Indian law is seen by opponents as discriminating against Muslims and has deepened concerns that Modi’s administration is undermining India’s secular traditions.
Modi’s ruling Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party denies any bias against the country’s 180 million Muslims.
On Sunday, a separate protest also erupted in the northern Indian city of Aligarh, where protesters threw stones at the police, state administration official Chandra Bhushan Singh said.
The Internet in the area had been suspended until midnight, he added.