Typhoon Haishen hit JapanBack to list
Typhoon Haishen yesterday drew closer to Japan’s southern mainland, cutting power and prompting authorities to recommend evacuation and warn of potentially record rainfall, unprecedented wind, high tides and large ocean swells.
Authorities urged early evacuation for more than 100,000 households in the southern island prefecture of Okinawa and in Kagoshima, Kumamoto and Nagasaki on Kyushu, Japan’s main southern island, the Japanese Fire and Disaster Management Agency said.
“This typhoon is headed toward and may potentially make landfall in Kyushu, bringing record rains, winds, waves and high tides,” Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said at a meeting with Cabinet ministers. “I am asking that people exercise the utmost caution.”
Trees on Yakushima, an island 100km south of Kagoshima city could be seen shaking violently in strong winds and driving rain, in a post on Twitter.
Older people wearing masks due to the COVID-19 outbreak were gathering at evacuation centers in Kagoshima and other parts of southern Japan, footage on Japan Broadcasting Corp (NHK) showed.
The typhoon has cut power to almost 30,000 homes in Kagoshima Prefecture and more than 3,000 homes in Okinawa, NHK said.
Two injuries have been reported, the disaster agency said, but authorities were advising the highest levels of caution because of the risk of damage from high winds, flooding and landslides.
The typhoon is forecast to have atmospheric pressure of 945 hectopascals at its center, and sustained winds of up to 216kph by today, the Japan Meteorological Agency said.
The typhoon’s center was near Yakushima yesterday, moving north at 35kph.
The typhoon is forecast to approach the Goto Islands west of Nagasaki at about 3am today and then move to the Korean Peninsula, the meteorological agency said.
One evacuation center in Miyazaki reached capacity and stopped accepting evacuees as a precaution against COVID-19, NHK said.
Airlines have canceled more than 500 flights departing from Okinawa and southern Japan, NHK said, adding that bullet train service in southern and western Japan was also suspended.