Preparation work is running smoothly to remove bridge girders that were severely damaged after being hit by a tanker set adrift by Typhoon No. 21 on Sept. 4. The bridge connects Kansai International Airport with the main island of Honshu. (Video by Satoru Ogawa)

Kansai International Airport on Sept. 10 removed all floodwater from Terminal 1 and Runway No. 1, while work accelerated to repair an access bridge damaged by a tanker set adrift by Typhoon No. 21.

Flights are expected to resume on the runway within a week from the south side of Terminal 1 for the first time since the Sept. 4 typhoon, the strongest to hit Japan in 25 years, according to the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism’s Kinki Regional Development Bureau.

Kansai Airports, operator of the gateway airport to western Japan, had already resumed domestic and international flights on the other runway on Sept. 8.

High waves whipped up by the storm inundated Terminal 1 and submerged Runway No. 1 on the man-made island in Osaka Bay.

The typhoon also set a tanker loose that ended up smashing into the access bridge for both vehicles and trains linking the airport to the mainland.

About 8,000 travelers and airport workers were stranded overnight at Kansai International Airport and were taken to safety by ferry on Sept. 5, according to Kansai Airports.

West Japan Railway Co. (JR West) and Nankai Electric Railway Co. are expected to resume operations on the bridge within this month, a week earlier than previously planned, transport minister Keiichi Ishii said at a news conference on Sept. 11.

The accelerated schedule is the result of smooth preparation work to remove a damaged girder that has covered the railway track.

According to West Nippon Expressway Co. and other sources, the girder is about 188 meters long and weighs around 2,000 tons.

If work continues to progress smoothly, the girder, which was used for the south side of the road, should be removed by Sept. 14.

Work can then begin to fix a bridge girder for the railway tracks that was damaged in the tanker crash, as well as rebuilding the tracks.

To make up for the decrease in flights at Kansai International Airport, the ministry is asking local governments and related entities to increase services by 40 daily flights at Osaka Airport in Itami and by 30 daily flights at Kobe Airport.

Around a week after the typhoon passed through western Japan, about 10,700 households were still without electricity as of 3 p.m. on Sept. 10, according to Kansai Electric Power Co. The typhoon had cut power to about 2.25 million households in eight prefectures, mostly in Kinki region.

The death toll reached 14 in five prefectures, including Osaka and Aichi.

The typhoon injured 741 people in 29 prefectures and damaged or inundated 4,967 houses, according to the Fire and Disaster Management Agency of the internal affairs ministry.

At least 43 cargo containers were washed out to sea from Kobe Port, while high tides swept away 27 containers from Osaka Port. Twenty-six of the containers had been retrieved as of Sept. 10.

The international container terminal at Kobe Port remains the only one of 15 in Japan that has not resumed operations.