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Powerful Typhoon Phanfone was on course to hit the Tokyo area on Monday, after barreling into southwestern Japan with heavy rain and wind that caused flights to be canceled and knocked out power. The storm, which was downgraded from an earlier status of a super typhoon, is moving northeast at 16 mph after lashing parts of the Kyushu and Okinawa islands, the Japan Meteorological Agency said on Sunday.
About 12 inches of rain and heavy wind are forecast for eastern Japan, including the Tokyo metropolitan area. Toyota Motor Corp plans to halt production on Monday morning at 12 plants in Japan and several airlines, including All Nippon Airways and Japan Airlines Co, canceled over 150 flights to several southern Japanese cities.
The approaching storm also forced the suspension of search efforts on Mount Ontake in central Japan, where 12 people remain missing following a volcanic eruption that killed at least 51. Heavy rain delayed the Japanese Formula One Grand Prix on Sunday, which eventually saw two starts behind the safety car and ended before the full distance due to a crash.