Tuesday 15 October 2019

One person killed, heavy rain and winds lash Tokyo as strong Typhoon Hagibis approaches

Surging waves hit against the breakwater and a lighthouse as Typhoon Hagibis approaches at a port in town of Kiho, Mie prefecture, central Japan Saturday, Oct. 12, 2019. (AP Photo/Toru Hanai)
Surging waves hit against the breakwater and a lighthouse as Typhoon Hagibis approaches at a port in town of Kiho, Mie prefecture, central Japan Saturday, Oct. 12, 2019. (AP Photo/Toru Hanai)
A couple walks in heavy rain Saturday, Oct. 12, 2019, in Fujisawa, west of Tokyo. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Japan's rugby team player Jiwon Koo, carries teammate James Moore in a flooded walkway at a stadium in Tokyo as the team practices ahead of their match against Scotland, Saturday, Oct. 12, 2019. (Yuki Sato/Kyodo News via AP)
Sea wracks land at a port as Typhoon Hagibis approaches in town of Kiho, Mie prefecture, central Japan Saturday, Oct. 12, 2019. (AP Photo/Toru Hanai)
Rescuers on a boat patrol the residential area flooded by Typhoon Hagibis, in Ise, central Japan Saturday, Oct. 12, 2019. (Kyodo News via AP)
A car goes in front of surging waves as Typhoon Hagibis approaches at a beach in Kumano, Mie prefecture, central Japan Saturday, Oct. 12, 2019. (AP Photo/Toru Hanai)
A traffic controller stands in front of surging waves as Typhoon Hagibis approaches at a beach in town of Mihama, Mie prefecture, central Japan Saturday, Oct. 12, 2019. (AP Photo/Toru Hanai)
A woman films surging waves as Typhoon Hagibis approaches at a beach in Kumano, Mie prefecture, central Japan Saturday, Oct. 12, 2019. (AP Photo/Toru Hanai)
People walk in crossing in Shibuya district, Tokyo Saturday, Oct. 12, 2019. (AP Photo/Kiichiro Sato)
Destroyed house and vehicle are seen following a strong wind in Ichihara, Chiba, near Tokyo Saturday, Oct. 12, 2019. (Katsuya Miyagawa/Kyodo News via AP)
A man walks in rain in Shibuya district, Tokyo Saturday, Oct. 12, 2019. (AP Photo/Kiichiro Sato)
A man struggles with his umbrella against strong wind at a crossing in Shibuya district, Tokyo Saturday, Oct. 12, 2019. (AP Photo/Kiichiro Sato)
A man struggles against the wind as he walks with an umbrella Saturday, Oct. 12, 2019, in Fujisawa, west of Tokyo. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Debris from structures are seen following a strong wind in Ichihara, Chiba, near Tokyo Saturday, Oct. 12, 2019. (Katsuya Miyagawa/Kyodo News via AP)
Passengers, including a British man who came for the Rugby World Cup, rest and wait for their flights which were cancelled because of Typhoon Hagibis, at Haneda Airport in Tokyo, Saturday, Oct. 12, 2019. (Kyodo News via AP)
People watch the Isuzu River swollen by Typhoon Hagibis, in Ise, central Japan Saturday, Oct. 12, 2019. (Kyodo News via AP)
Waves batter the shore Saturday, Oct. 12, 2019, in Fujisawa, west of Tokyo. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
A man walks in the rain near Shinagawa Station as Typhoon Hagibis approaches Tokyo, Japan October 12, 2019. REUTERS/Kevin Coombs
A man crosses a street near Shinagawa Startion as Typhoon Hagibis approaches Tokyo, Japan October 12, 2019. REUTERS/Kevin Coombs
A shop sign displaying information about early closure, is seen ahead of Typhoon Hagibis in Tokyo, Japan, October 12, 2019. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-hoon

Yuri Kageyama

One person has died and heavy rain and strong winds have pounded Tokyo as a powerful typhoon forecast as the worst in six decades approached landfall.

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

Under gloomy skies, a tornado ripped through Chiba on Saturday, overturning a car in the city of Ichihara and killing a man inside, city official Tatsuya Sakamaki said.

Five people were also injured when the tornado ripped through a house. Their injuries were not life-threatening, Mr Sakamaki said.

A couple walks in heavy rain Saturday, Oct. 12, 2019, in Fujisawa, west of Tokyo. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
A couple walks in heavy rain Saturday, Oct. 12, 2019, in Fujisawa, west of Tokyo. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

The rains caused rivers to swell, flipped anchored boats and whipped up sea waters in a dangerous surge along the coast, flooding some residential neighbourhoods and leaving people to wade in ankle-deep waters.

Authorities also warned of mudslides, common in mountainous Japan.

Sea wracks land at a port as Typhoon Hagibis approaches in town of Kiho, Mie prefecture, central Japan Saturday, Oct. 12, 2019. (AP Photo/Toru Hanai)
Sea wracks land at a port as Typhoon Hagibis approaches in town of Kiho, Mie prefecture, central Japan Saturday, Oct. 12, 2019. (AP Photo/Toru Hanai)

Rugby World Cup matches, concerts and other events have been cancelled. Flights were grounded and train services halted. Authorities acted quickly, with warnings issued earlier this week, including urging people to stay indoors. Ireland's match against Samoa today is some 900km south-west of Tokyo.

The typhoon that hit the Tokyo region in 1958 left more than 1,200 people dead and a half-million houses flooded.

Rescuers on a boat patrol the residential area flooded by Typhoon Hagibis, in Ise, central Japan Saturday, Oct. 12, 2019. (Kyodo News via AP)
Rescuers on a boat patrol the residential area flooded by Typhoon Hagibis, in Ise, central Japan Saturday, Oct. 12, 2019. (Kyodo News via AP)

Some 17,000 police and military troops have been called up, standing ready for rescue operations.

Hagibis, which means "speed" in Filipino, was advancing north-northwestward with maximum sustained winds of 100 miles per hour, according to the Japan Meteorological Agency.

A car goes in front of surging waves as Typhoon Hagibis approaches at a beach in Kumano, Mie prefecture, central Japan Saturday, Oct. 12, 2019. (AP Photo/Toru Hanai)
A car goes in front of surging waves as Typhoon Hagibis approaches at a beach in Kumano, Mie prefecture, central Japan Saturday, Oct. 12, 2019. (AP Photo/Toru Hanai)

It was expected to make landfall near Tokyo later on Saturday, unleashing up to 20 inches of rains and then blow out to sea eastward.

Evacuation advisories have been issued for risk areas, including Shimoda city, west of Tokyo.

A traffic controller stands in front of surging waves as Typhoon Hagibis approaches at a beach in town of Mihama, Mie prefecture, central Japan Saturday, Oct. 12, 2019. (AP Photo/Toru Hanai)
A traffic controller stands in front of surging waves as Typhoon Hagibis approaches at a beach in town of Mihama, Mie prefecture, central Japan Saturday, Oct. 12, 2019. (AP Photo/Toru Hanai)

Dozens of evacuation centres were opening in coastal towns, and people were resting on gymnasium floors, saying they hoped their homes were still there after the storm passed.

The storm has disrupted this nation's three-day weekend, which includes Sports Day on Monday.

Qualifying for a Formula One auto race in Suzuka was pushed to Sunday. The Defence 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 at the Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya airports.

Central Japan Railway Co said it will cancel all bullet train service between Tokyo and Osaka except for several early on Saturday trains connecting Nagoya and Osaka. Tokyo Disneyland was closed.

Ginza department stores and smaller shops throughout Tokyo shuttered ahead of the typhoon.

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