2 people killed, 70 injured, 3 missing as Typhoon Hagibis slams Japan
Typhoon Hagibis made landfall on the Izu Peninsula on Japan’s main island at 7:00 p.m. Saturday local time, bringing heavy downpours and winds.
A a man in his 50s was found dead in an overturned car in Chiba Prefecture near Tokyo, possibly hit by a tornado formed during the course of Typhoon Hagibis, which also ravaged several houses, local government officials said, while the police said a man died after being hit by a landslide in Gunma prefecture.
According to Japanese authorities, two people were killed, at least 70 people were injured and three people went missing.
The country remained at its highest alert level as the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) issued an emergency warning in the afternoon, saying heavy rainfall “with a level of intensity observed only once every few decades” is predicted in Tokyo and the six surrounding prefectures of Gunma, Saitama, Kanagawa, Yamanashi, Nagano and Shizuoka.
The agency issued new warnings of severe rainfall for Ibaraki, Tochigi, Fukushima, Miyagi and Niigata prefectures at 7:50 p.m. local time, while the warning for Shizuoka was lifted at 10:23 p.m. local time.
Typhoon Hagibis, meaning “swift” in the Philippine language Tagalog, could possibly bring rainfall amounts not seen since a deadly typhoon in 1958, the JMA said.
The agency has downgraded Typhoon Hagibis’ intensity to “powerful” from “very powerful.” As of 8:00 p.m. local time, the typhoon had an atmospheric pressure of 960 hectopascals at its center and was packing winds of up to 198 km per hour.
The water levels in several rivers, including the Tama and the Arakawa in the metropolitan area, have risen dangerously due to the heavy rainfall brought by the typhoon, Japanese authorities said.
So far, at least five rivers including those in Tokyo’s Hachioji and Ome have overflowed, local governments said.
Most department stores and supermarkets in Tokyo area were closed on Saturday, while some shops near stations and convenience stores issued notices that they will close in the afternoon and will remain shut down until 2:00 or 3:00 p.m. local time on Sunday.
Shinkansen bullet train service between Tokyo and Nagoya was suspended on Saturday. East Japan Railway Co. suspended its Tohoku and Hokuriku Shinkansen services in the afternoon and gradually reduced train operations in the Tokyo metropolitan area from Saturday morning and halted services around 1:00 p.m. local time.