A former Hunter woman caught up in the devastating Japanese typhoon has described the “scary” experience in the direct line of the storm.
Meg O’Neill, who grew up in Cessnock, was in Osaka when Typhoon Jebi struck on Tuesday – smack bang in the middle of the carnage.
The typhoon was the worst to hit Japan in 25 years and has left at least eight people dead and more than 100 wounded.
Ms O’Neill said she was stranded inside her accommodation for nine hours due to the storm, which hit the region about lunch time on Tuesday.
“All train lines had stopped at 10am in the morning,” she said. “All the shops closed down.”
Ms O’Neill said she heard about the incoming storm from other Australian tourists, and had to stock up on food before it hit.
“We were told not to leave the accommodation – ‘do not go outside’,” she said.
“We had no water or power for six hours.”
“There was a lounge blowing up the street at one point. It was very scary at the time.”
Ms O’Neill said the typhoon was “really, really bad” for about 45 minutes in which time she and other travellers from Australia, Germany, Switzerland and the Netherlands played cards to pass the time.
“It came quicker than I expected,” she said.
“It just sounded like really heavy wind and we sat in the hostel with the Japanese owners who fed us frozen edamame because there was nothing to cook.
“They worked very hard to accommodate for us and were very worried.”
Ms O’Neill had planned to move onto Kyoto, Nara and Hiroshima but the weather halted her travel plans.
She was able to leave the accommodation at 7pm that night when she saw the damage including tin roofing strewn through the streets and bikes “scattered everywhere”.
Ms O’Neill left Osaka on Wednesday, when she travelled north to Kyoto to continue her trip.
All up the storm forced the cancellation of more than 700 flights and suspended the high-speed bullet train service from Tokyo west to Hiroshima for most of Tuesday.