A powerful typhoon barrelled towards Japan on Sunday, leaving two dead and more than 10 injured, as millions struggled to the polls for a national election.
Authorities advised thousands living in coastal areas or near rivers to evacuate to shelters as Typhoon Lan, described as “very large and very strong”, dumped torrential rain over much of the country.
According to Japan’s meteorological agency, the storm packed gusts up to 216 kilometres (134 miles) per hour Sunday night in the Pacific south of Japan and may hit Tokyo and surrounding regions early Monday.
The typhoon claimed its first victims as a male passer-by died when scaffolding collapsed on him at a construction site in Fukuoka, western Japan, public broadcaster NHK said.
At least 11 people were injured across the nation, NHK said.
Strong winds forced airline companies to ground more than 500 flights, while some train and ferry services in western Japan were cancelled, local media said.
Television footage showed rescuers tugging a rubber boat carrying an elderly woman in a residential area in Chiba southeast of Tokyo as a flooded river engulfed the area.
Sever local governments in Osaka and other prefectures issued evacuation advisories, urging thousands of residents living near the coast, rivers and hillsides to move to shelters.
The weather agency separately warned of high waves, landslides and floods in central and western Japan.
Voters in the capital braved torrential rain and driving wind on election day, as opinion polls indicate Abe is on course for a comfortable win.