TOKYO—A powerful typhoon is forecast to bring up to 30 inches of rain and damaging winds to the Tokyo area and Japans Pacific coast this weekend, and the government is warning residents to stockpile necessities and leave high-risk places before its too dangerous.
Rugby World Cup matches and other events were canceled on Oct.12, and flights and train services were halted. In the town of Kiho southwest of Tokyo, shops were boarded up, boats were anchored and authorities checked coastal levees. Most stores, restaurants and other businesses in Tokyo planned to close, and residents were buying batteries, bottled water, instant noodles and other food.
Meteorological Agency official Yasushi Kajihara said Typhoon Hagibis resembled a typhoon that hit the Tokyo region in 1958 with heavy rains and left a half-million houses flooded. More than 1,200 people died in that storm.
“In order to protect your own life and your loved ones, please try to start evacuating early before it gets dark and the storm becomes powerful,” Kajihara said at a news conference Friday.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abes Cabinet held a disaster management meeting late Friday, vowing to do its utmost to protect peoples lives. He said 17,000 police and military troops are ready if needed for rescue operations.
“The typhoon could cause power outages, damage to infrastructure and significantly affect peoples lives,” Abe said.
Economy Minister Isshu Sugawara urged hospitals and other public facilities to check their backup power supplies.
Hagibis, which means speed in Filipino, was advancing north-northwestward with winds of 180 kilometers per hour (110 mph) gusting to 250 kph (156 mph) on Friday afternoon, the weather agency said. It was expected to weaken as it hugs the Pacific coast of Japans main island on Saturday, making landfall south of Tokyo and passing out to sea by Sunday afternoon.
The meteorological agency cautioned that the typhoon could trigger waves as high as 13 meters (41 feet) in coastal cities through Saturday.
Up to 80 centimeters (30 inches) of rain was forecast in the capital region.
An evacuation advisory was issued early to 7,568 people on Oshima island in the typhoons projected path. Shimoda city, west of Tokyo, also issued an advisory to all of its 21,402 residents. Dozens of evacuation centers were opening in coastal towns in Chiba and Kanagawa prefectures.
The storm is expected to disrupt sports and holiday events on the three-day weekend, which includes Sports Day on Monday. Two Rugby World Cup matches—England vs. France and New Zealand vs. Italy—that were to be played Saturday were canceled. Qualifying for a Formula One auto race in Suzuka was pushed to Sunday. And the Defense Ministry cut a three-day annual navy review to a single day on Monday.
All Nippon Airways and Japan Airlines grounded most domestic and international flights scheduled Saturday at the Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya airports. Central Japan Railway Co. said it will cancel all bRead More – Source