Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 18 February 2020

Typhoon Hagibis brings death and destruction to Tokyo

As the typhoon heads north from the Japanese capital at least four have been killed by the storm

A firefighter makes his way through flooded street in the residential area hit by Typhoon Hagibis, in Tokyo, Saturday, Oct. 12, 2019 AP
A firefighter makes his way through flooded street in the residential area hit by Typhoon Hagibis, in Tokyo, Saturday, Oct. 12, 2019 AP

The worst typhoon to hit Tokyo in decades has left death and destruction in its wake as it heads north.

Fierce winds and record-breaking rainfall hit the Japanese capital, The Japan Times reported, with as many as four feared dead as a result of the deadly storm.

Hagibis made landfall on Japan's main island of Honshu on Saturday evening with a 5.7 magnitude earthquake reported shortly afterwards.

More than 80 were injured across 27 prefectures as a result of the typhoon with the whereabouts of 17 others still unaccounted for.

Hundreds of thousands have been left without power by the storm after some 6 million people across Japan were urged by authorities to evacuate.

Early Sunday morning, local time, a further 340,000 residents were forced to evacuate from the Iwaki, Fukushima Prefecture with the Japan’s meteorological agency predicting the storm would continue on its current trajectory towards the Pacific Ocean.

Concerns have been raised over irregular readings from sensors monitoring the Fukushima Diiachi nuclear plant, which was devastated by a 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

Three were killed by the extreme weather in the Chiba, Gunma and Kanagawa prefectures surrounding Tokyo. In Kawasaki a man in his 60s was discovered dead in his flooded apparent.

As the typhoon, believed to be the strongest to hit Tokyo since 1958, continues along its path of destruction, authorities lifted rain and flood warnings for the Kanto region around a becalmed Tokyo before dawn on Sunday but imposed them on areas further north.

Fears of further flooding as some dams in some areas are opened to release water have been raised by experts.

"Damage from floods and landslides is likely taking place already," a Japan Meteorological Agency official told a televised news conference. "It is critical that people take action urgently to protect their lives and the lives of loved ones."

Hagibis has brought Tokyo and its surroundings to a standstill. The capital's main airports, Haneda and Narita, stopped flights and connecting trains were suspended. More than a thousand flights were cancelled as a result.

Train operators suspended bullet train services, while many train and subway lines in Tokyo were also down for most of Saturday. Usually bustling entertainment and shopping districts such as Shibuya and Ginza were deserted.

Tokyo Disneyland had its firs all-day closure on Saturday as a result for the typhoon and international sport fixtures have been cancelled because of the freak weather.

Two matches of the Rugby World Cup, currently being hosted in Japan, were cancelled on Saturday. Matches on Sunday including a deciding match between Japan and Scotland hangs in the balance.

Japanese Formula One Grand Prix organisers also cancelled all practice and qualifying sessions scheduled for Saturday.

Updated: October 13, 2019 02:06 AM



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