Tokyo’s Yamanote Line was suspended for hours in both directions today due to the incident.
With three typhoons inching towards Japan over the past couple of days, news bulletins and weather updates have been warning residents to stay safe, particularly in the city of Tokyo, where Typhoon Mindulle was predicted to make landfall today. Sure enough, the capital was hit with winds and heavy rain, but nobody could have predicted what would occur at Harajuku Station in the middle of the afternoon, when large trees fell from the grounds of Meiji Shrine, covering the overhead lines.
sssk_m (@sosuke__m) August 22, 2016
The trees fell onto cables on the Yamanote line track bound for Shinjuku and Ikebukuro on platform two of the station.
Ryotaro Aoki (@ryotaroao) August 22, 2016
The outer track on this side of the station is lined with lush greenery and a large number of tall trees, which have been growing here for years on the grounds of Meiji Shrine, which is immediately adjacent to the station.
捨て駒P⍤⃝8/20ｱﾆｵﾝ秋葉原 (@Sutegomaster) August 22, 2016
This Twitter user was there the moment the trees fell, at approximately 2:50 p.m. local time, saying she was shocked by the sight.
え！？やばい！待って!! 原宿降りた瞬間木倒れてきた！ 電車止まった！タイミング！ 木倒れる瞬間初めて見た😱😱😱 https://t.co/aJiSa1fbQR—
あちゃむん (@Achamun_824) August 22, 2016
According to commuters, the trees made a loud noise like thunder as they came into contact with the cables and fell onto the roof of the platform.
原宿駅のホームでバキバキバキーー！って 音なって何かと思ってみたら木が倒れてきた…>_<… びっくり(°_°)(°_°)(°_°) https://t.co/bEZY0EvOdL—
なつ( ´▽｀) (@appk712) August 22, 2016
The weight of the trees even caused a station sign to topple over.
さ と う か ほ (@222khrn) August 22, 2016
Trains in both directions on the Yamanote line were immediately suspended following the incident.
こば (@tk_1970913) August 22, 2016
While the Tokyo and Shinagawa-bound train on the platform one inner track became operational shortly after 3:00 p.m., for some, catching the loop train in this direction would make for a much longer commute.
ゆか (@ljd_frd24) August 22, 2016
At 4:40 p.m., the Tokyo bound train was also suspended for close to two hours, as debris was moved away from the area. Workers were still on the scene at 6:40 p.m. in the evening.
山手線 独自運転再開見込 20:00 画像は18:40現在 https://t.co/Q4lLd6GPYb—
とれいんふぉ + (@Trainfo_PLUS) August 22, 2016
Service to the route was finally restored at 8:15 p.m. According to news reports, approximately 144,000 commuters were effected by the disruption to the line. Thankfully, nobody was injured in the incident.