Japan advises hundreds of thousands to evacuate as powerful typhoon approaches

  • October 12, 2019

An empty road leading into Shiroko, Suzuka, Japan October 12, 2019, seen in heavy rain ahead of Typhoon Hagibis. REUTERS/Soe Zeya Tun

TOKYO (Reuters) – Hundreds of thousands of households in Japan were advised to evacuate due to fears of flooding as a powerful typhoon was set to make landfall late on Saturday, bringing with it the heaviest rain and winds in 60 years.

A number of municipal governments issued evacuation advisories to areas particularly at risk, including some in the most populous greater Tokyo region, according to public broadcaster NHK.

Typhoon Hagibis, which means “speed” in the Philippine language Tagalog, is due to make landfall on Japan’s main island of Honshu late on Saturday, a month after one of the strongest typhoons to hit the country in recent years destroyed or damaged 30,000 houses and caused extensive power outages.

NHK reported that four people were injured in Chiba prefecture east of Tokyo, which was hit hard by typhoon Faxai a month ago, early on Saturday as strong winds blew roofs off several houses.

Stores, factories and subway systems have been shut down as a precaution, while Japanese Formula One Grand Prix organizers canceled all practice and qualifying sessions scheduled for Saturday.

Two matches of the Rugby World Cup due to be played on Saturday were also canceled.

Storm surges are expected along the Pacific coast of Honshu on Saturday and Sunday along with torrential rain, raising the risk of floods and landslides.

Typhoon Ida, known as the “Kanogawa Typhoon” in Japanese, killed more than 1,000 people in 1958.