Updated: 10/13/2019 2:03:34 AM
Thirteen people are missing from the storm, public broadcaster NHK said. In central Nagano prefecture, water surrounded Japan's famous bullet trains while helicopters plucked stranded residents from rooftops. A total of 27,000 military troops and other rescue crews have been deployed in relief operations, authorities said.
Nearly 150,000 homes in the greater Tokyo area are without power with running water also hit. Many of the deaths came as people were buried in landslides or swept away by floodwaters.
Typhoon Hagibis triggered floods and landslides as it battered the country with wind speeds of 225km/h. Rivers have breached their banks in at least 14 different places, inundating residential neighborhoods. Hagibis is heading north and is expected to move back into the North Pacific later on Sunday.
Updated: 10/12/2019 7:48:46 AM
High winds and record-breaking rains battered Tokyo and large swaths of central Japan on Saturday evening, forcing the government to issue its highest level of emergency rainfall warnings and advise nearly 8 million people to evacuate their homes to avoid landslides and flooding.
In the midst of the storm, a magnitude 5.3 earthquake struck off the coast southeast of Tokyo, shaking buildings in the capital. There were no immediate reports of damage or casualties.
Japan's Meteorological Agency (JMA) had warned the previous day that Hagibis, which means "speed or swiftness" in the Philippine language Tagalog, could bring as severe rainfall as a 1958 typhoon that killed more than 1200 people in Tokyo and elsewhere in the country.
The JMA moved to a Level 5 warning for heavy rainfall on Saturday afternoon for large parts of central and eastern Japan, talking of "unprecedented rainfall" in many cities, towns and villages, predicting that disasters such as landslides and floods had probably already occurred, and warning people to "take measures to protect lives."
Authorities say they were forced to begin releasing water from the Shiroyama Dam west of Tokyo at 9.30 pm, adding to fears of downstream flooding along the Sagami River running through Kanagawa prefecture to the south.
NHK said the government had ordered 619,000 people in 10 prefectures in eastern and central Japan to evacuate their homes, while nearly eight million had been issued less strict evacuation "advisories".
Updated: 10/12/2019 2:42:37 AM
Non-compulsory evacuation orders were issued to nearly 30,000 people in eastern Japan, according to public broadcaster NHK.
Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike urged companies in the capital to "secure the safety of their employees" by allowing workers to stay home or dismissing them early.
Japanese officials said they were on alert, with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe ordering officials to "take every possible measure to ensure people's safety", Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told reporters.
Published Saturday, October 12, 2019
Extremely dangerous Typhoon "Hagibis" is approaching Japan. Landfall is expected near Tokyo today, October 12 with maximum sustained winds of 160 km/h, equivalent to Category 2 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. Authorities are urging residents and tourists to prepare in advance and protect their lives.
"The typhoon may make landfall in the Tokai or Kanto region on Saturday, and remain extremely strong. In addition to storm winds and high waves, we're looking at the possibility of record rainfall around the Kanto region," JMA's forecast chief Yasushi Kajihara said. "To protect your own life and your loved ones, please try to start evacuating early before it gets dark and the storm becomes powerful."
Heavy to record-breaking rain is expected in wide parts of Honshu, especially in Tokai and Kanto. Wind speeds may reach up to 162 km/h in Tokai and 144 km/h in Kanto-Koshin. Maximum gusts of 216 km/h may hit both regions.
Waves may reach 13 m off Tokai, Kanto and the Izu Islands, and 10 m off Tohoku and Kinki regions. Storm surges are expected in eastern Japan and the Kinki region between Saturday afternoon and evening.
Weather officials are urging people to keep track of the latest weather bulletins and local evacuation advisories and to flee to safety before conditions deteriorate NHK reports.
Shigeo Kannaka, a director of Japan Bosai (Disaster Prevention) Society, urged caution against the prolonged power and water outages.
He recommended filling bathtubs, kettles, and buckets with water that can later be used to flush toilets and fulfill other domestic purposes. Flashlights, lanterns and portable radios will also come in handy in the event of a power failure, he said.
Other safety precautions, he said, include taping windows in all directions to prevent them from fragmenting when they break, stocking up on enough potable water for three days, and topping up the gas tanks of cars and other vehicles.
Residents are also advised to charge their smartphone batteries, secure laundry poles and empty fridges of perishable food that could spoil in a power outage.
Typhoon Hagibis Facts
Affected Area: 500 km.
Alert Level: Red
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