Photo/IllutrationA car overturned by wind gusts brought by Typhoon No. 21 in Osaka’s Kita Ward, on Sept. 4 (Asahi Shimbun file photo)

  • Photo/Illustraion

Tire problems were the most-cited reason for assistance requests by motorists during powerful Typhoon No. 21, which struck the Kansai region in September, according to the Japan Automobile Federation (JAF).

The typhoon barreled into Tokushima Prefecture at around noon on Sept. 4, paralyzing an airport, overturning cars and flooding streets with torrential rain.

The JAF analyzed 1,930 car rescue requests--up 584 from the same period the previous year--received from Osaka Prefecture, the hardest-hit area, from Sept. 4 to 6.

By category, tire blowouts and flat tires accounted for 782 cases, up 530 from last year.

The report said that the problems were caused by running over debris, such as steel plates and pieces of roof. Many vehicles at carports also had tires punctured by such broken material.

"We didn't expect that tire blowouts and flat tires would top the list of car problems during a typhoon, rather than shattered car windows, for example," said a JAF official. "We need to keep an eye on possible damage, even after a typhoon has passed."

A high-ranking transport ministry official noted, “When your car gets a flat tire in stormy winds, you become stuck, with no way to get back on the road.

"It's better not to use your car when there is a typhoon."

The JAF report also showed a substantial increase in cases of shattered car windows, with many of them involving parked cars, and the owners noticing the damage later.

Categories of vehicle assistance requests spiked during Typhoon No. 21

(Compiled by JAF; assistance requests made from Sept. 4-6, in Osaka Prefecture)

Tire blowouts and flat tires: 782 cases

Shattered car windows: 186 cases

Flooded: 50 cases