Typhoon Hagibis makes landfall on Japan coast

Heavy rains and strong winds hit Japan as the typhoon, forecast as the worst in six decades, makes landfall.

Powerful typhoon Hagibis has made landfall in Japan, officials said as torrential rain and winds have already lashed the country causing floods and mudslides.

“The eye of Typhoon Hagibis made landfall shortly before 7pm (1000 GMT) in Izu Peninsula”, southwest of Tokyo, said the Japan Meteorological Agency on Saturday.

Japanese weather authorities issued a top-level emergency rain warning and about a million people were issued non-compulsory evacuation orders. Train and flight services have been affected.

Typhoon Hagibis, closing in from the Pacific, brought heavy rainfall in wide areas of Japan in advance of its landfall, including Shizuoka and Mie prefectures, southwest of Tokyo, as well as Chiba to the north, which had suffered power outages and damaged homes from last month’s typhoon.

A tornado ripped through Chiba on Saturday, overturning a car in the city of Ichihara, east of Tokyo, and killing a man inside, a city official said, adding that five people were also injured.

Hagibis is being compared with a 1958 typhoon that hit eastern and central Japan, killing more than 1,200 people, Yasushi Kajihara, who heads the forecast division at the Meteorological Agency, told a news conference on Friday.


“The streets of Tokyo are very quiet in anticipation of this storm,” said Al Jazeera’s Wayne Hay, reporting from the Japanese capital.  

The typhoon was of particular concern for those living in coastal communities “because its also being combined with near full moon conditions meaning that the tide may be a lot higher than usual”, Hay added.

He said there were already reports of power cuts in coastal prefectures east of the capital, such as Ibaraki and Chiba.

“Authorities said they were trying their best to get around to as many communities in Chiba in particular …  because many people there are still recovering from a typhoon that struck last month which killed some people and caused a lot of damage,” Hay reported.

The storm caused more than 1,660 flights to be cancelled, according to broadcaster NHK, while many train services, including high-speed bullet train services, were halted in eastern and central Japan, operators said.

Two Rugby World Cup games scheduled for Saturday were cancelled due to the expected impact of Hagibis, while the typhoon also affected the F1 Japanese Grand Prix this weekend at Suzuka.

Source: Al Jazeera, News Agencies