Japan's weather agency has issued a Level-5 heavy rain warning (highest on the scale) in the Tokyo, Shizuoka, Kanagawa, Saitama, Gunman, Yamanashi, and Nagano prefectures on Saturday, October 12, as Typhoon Hagibis approaches central Japan.
Significant flooding has been reported in the city of Ise (Mie prefecture), leaving at least 25 homes damaged. Authorities have issued Level-4 evacuation orders, the highest possible, for an estimated 14,292 residents in the prefecture's 12 districts as of 10:50 (local time) on Saturday. The Edogawa Ward has issued the same evacuation order, affecting 434,000 residents due to fears that the Arakawa river will flood. Officials have also issued evacuation advisories for large portions of Tokyo and other surrounding area as residents prepare for the arrival of the storm. Hundreds of thousands of residents are being advised to evacuate in parts of Kanagawa, Chiba, and Yamanashi prefectures. Power outages have also been reported in Chiba and Ibaraki prefectures as of the morning on Saturday. According to media reports, at least 27,000 homes are without power in Chiba. Further power outages and evacuation orders are likely in the coming hours as Hagibis makes landfall later in the day.
Significant transportation disruptions are ongoing in the greater Tokyo area. Almost 2000 domestic and international flights scheduled for Saturday have been canceled at Haneda Airport (HND) and Narita International Airport (NRT). All train service will also be suspended by Saturday afternoon as a precaution. Authorities are urging people to stay indoors until the storm passes. Residual flight disruptions are expected through Sunday, October 13.
As of 15:00 on Saturday, Typhoon Hagibis is located at 33.7°N 138.2°E (map here) and is tracking north at 30 kph (19 mph), with maximum wind gusts of 240 kph (150 mph). The Japanese Meteorological Agency (JMA) has rated the typhoon as “very strong” intensity (the second highest level). Hagibis is forecast to make landfall in central Japan around 18:00 on Saturday before turning northeast.
Hagibis is expected to bring torrential rain, damaging winds, and dangerous sea conditions to the region. Associated flooding, mudslides, and business disruptions are anticipated in the region.
Individuals in the affected areas are advised to monitor local weather reports, adhere to instructions issued by local authorities, anticipate adverse weather and power and transportation disruptions, and remember that running water can be dangerous - 15 cm (6 in) is enough to knock over an adult - and never drive through flooded streets; floodwater may also contain wastewater and chemical products.
Travelers flying via HND or NRT are advised to confirm flight reservations and to contact their airline for additional information.
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