Japan braces for battering as Typhoon Hagibis sweeps in
Residents have been urged to leave high-risk areas in and around Tokyo and the Pacific coast.
A powerful typhoon forecast to bring more than 2ft of rain and damaging winds is nearing the Tokyo area and Japan’s Pacific coast.
Rugby World Cup matches and other high-profile events due to take place on Saturday have already been cancelled, and flights and train services halted.
Residents are urged to leave high-risk areas and stockpile vital goods as Typhoon Hagibis threatens widespread disruption.
Meteorological Agency official Yasushi Kajihara said: “In order to protect your own life and your loved ones, please try to start evacuating early before it gets dark and the storm becomes powerful.”
Disaster management minister Ryota Takeda urged people to prepare early, and said the government is “doing its utmost to prepare” for the storm.
Hagibis, which means speed in Filipino, had winds of 110mph and gusts up to 156mph on Friday afternoon.
It is expected to weaken as it hugs the Pacific coast of Japan’s main island on Saturday, making landfall south of Tokyo and passing out to sea by Sunday afternoon.
Forecasters have compared it to a typhoon that hit the Tokyo region in 1958 and left more than 1,200 people dead and half-a-million homes flooded.
Last month, Typhoon Faxai at one point left more than 900,000 homes in the Tokyo area without power, triggering concerns about the country’s ageing infrastructure system.