October 3, 2022
Hurricane “Nanamadol”, with wind speed of 230 kmph, hit Japan

Hurricane 'Nanamadol' hit Japan with wind speed of 230 kmph

The JMA warned that the region could face an “unprecedented” threat from strong winds and storm surges.

Izumi:

Typhoon Nanmadol made landfall in southwestern Japan on Sunday night, as authorities urged millions of people to seek shelter from the powerful storm’s strong winds and torrential rain.

The Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) said the storm officially made landfall around 7 p.m. (1000 GMT) local time, as its eye approached the city of Kagoshima.

It was gusting up to 234 kilometers (146 mph) and some parts of the southwestern Kyushu region had received up to 500 mm of rain in less than 24 hours.

At least 20,000 people were spending the night in shelters in Kyushu’s Kagoshima and Miyazaki prefectures, where the JMA has issued a rare “special warning” – a warning that is issued only if it has been seen once in several decades. forecasts situations.

National broadcaster NHK, which collects information from local authorities, said more than seven million people had been told to go to shelters or take shelter in fortified buildings to shield themselves from the storm.

Evacuation warnings are not mandatory, and officials have at times struggled to persuade people to move to shelters before extreme weather.

He sought to address his concerns about the weather system throughout the weekend.

“Please stay away from dangerous places and evacuate if you feel the slightest danger,” Prime Minister Fumio Kishida tweeted after calling a government meeting on the storm.

“Evacuating at night would be dangerous. Please proceed to safety while it is still outside.”

The JMA warned that the region could face an “unprecedented” threat from strong winds, storms and torrential rains, and called the storm “very dangerous”.

Hiro Kato, head of the Weather Monitoring and Warning Center, told reporters on Sunday: “The storm-hit areas are receiving rain that has never happened before.”

“Especially in areas with landslide warnings, it is very possible that some type of landslide is already occurring.”

He also urged “maximum precautions to be taken in areas where disasters do not usually occur.”

As of Sunday evening, utility companies said about 200,000 homes across the region were without electricity.

Trains, flights and boats were canceled until the storm passed, and even some convenience stores – normally open all hours and considered a lifeline in disasters – are closing their doors. Were.

– ‘Highest caution possible’ –

“The southern part of the Kyushu region may witness violent wind, high waves and high tides like never before experienced,” the JMA said on Sunday, urging residents to “take the highest precautions”.

On the ground, an official in Kagoshima’s Izumi city said that by Sunday afternoon the situation was deteriorating rapidly.

“The wind has become very strong. The rain is also getting stronger,” he told AFP. “It’s completely white outside. Visibility is almost zero.”

In the town of Minamata in Kyushu, fishing boats strapped to safety hit the waves as bands of spray and rain from the sea clog the boardwalk.

The storm, which weakened slightly as it neared land, is expected to turn to the northeast and spread to the main island of Japan by early Wednesday.

Japan is currently in typhoon season and experiences about 20 such storms annually, with regular heavy rains that cause landslides or flash floods.

In 2019, Typhoon Hagibis lashed Japan as it hosted the Rugby World Cup, claiming the lives of over 100 people.

A year earlier, Typhoon JB closed down Kansai Airport in Osaka, killing 14 people.

And in 2018, floods and landslides killed more than 200 people in western Japan during the country’s annual rainy season.

Scientists say that climate change is increasing the severity of storms and becoming more frequent and intense due to extreme weather such as heat waves, drought and flash floods.

(Except for the title, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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