Typhoon Melor buffets Japan, disrupts industry

Typhoon Melor barreled into Japan's main island on Thursday, tearing roofs off houses, disrupting flights and trains and closing some factories, but the storm was weakening and heading into the Pacific.

Television showed a road bridge that had collapsed in floods in Aichi, west of Tokyo, and cars half submerged in the nearby industrial city of Nagoya. Two people were killed, 46 injured and more than 2,400 across the country were forced from their homes, public broadcaster NHK said.

Roofs were blown off about 50 buildings in Ibaraki, north of Tokyo, NHK said, but the main disruption in the capital was from train cancellations that stranded commuters.

"It felt just like a huge earthquake," one woman told NHK, describing how her house had been shaken by the storm.

The typhoon, with winds gusting up to 162 kph 100 mph, was about 180 km 120 miles north of Tokyo at noon 0300 GMT.

The Meteorological Agency said it was headed northeast at 50 kph 30 mph and issued flood and landslide warnings for broad areas of the country, including Tokyo.

Toyota Motor Corp said it was suspending production at 12 factories in central Japan while Suzuki Motor Corp halted work at six car and bike plants in the area.

Refiners like Nippon Oil Corp and Idemitsu Kosan Co halted some oil shipments but their plants kept operating. Sony Corp halted production at a broadcasting equipment plant until noon.

More than 450 flights were canceled, NHK said, and some high speed "bullet" trains and commuter services were halted for a time. Several expressways were closed.

Passengers were trapped inside one Tokyo area train for two hours when the line stopped operating, NHK said. About 10,000 households in Chiba, east of Tokyo, were without electricity.

A newspaper delivery man died west of Tokyo, when his motorbike hit a fallen tree, while another man north of the capital was killed by a falling branch.

In Aichi, strong winds brought down a cowshed, allowing 100 cattle to escape, but police and farmers corralled them about three hours later, media said.

Additional reporting by Yoko Nishikawa and Linda Sieg, Editing by Ron Popeski