Alexa Typhoon Hagibis: 11 killed in Japan

Dhaka, Sunday   17 November 2019


Typhoon Hagibis: 11 killed in Japan

 International Desk

 Published: 10:12 AM, 13 October 2019   Updated: 12:42 PM, 13 October 2019

Photo: Collected

Photo: Collected

At least 11 people have been killed in Japan as a result of powerful Typhoon Hagibis that roared across the country bringing unprecedented rains, officials said on Sunday. 

The Typhoon triggered floods and landslides as it battered the country with wind speeds of 225km/h (140mph). Rivers have breached their banks in at least 14 different places, inundating residential neighbourhoods. 

Hagibis is heading north and is expected to move back into the North Pacific later on Sunday. 

It made landfall on Saturday shortly before 19:00 local time (10:00 GMT), in Izu Peninsula, south-west of Tokyo and moved up the east coast. Almost half a million homes were left without power.

In the town of Hakone near Mount Fuji more than 1m (3ft) of rain fell on Friday and Saturday, the highest total ever recorded in Japan over 48 hours.

Further north in Nagano prefecture, levees along the Chikuma river gave way sending water rushing through residential areas, inundating houses. Flood defences around Tokyo have held and river levels are now falling, reports BBC.

Officials said some of those killed were swept away by landslides while others were trapped in their cars as floodwaters rose. Another 15 people are listed as missing and dozens are reported injured.

More than seven million people were urged to leave their homes as the huge storm approached, but it is thought only 50,000 stayed in shelters. Many residents stocked up on provisions before the typhoon's arrival, leaving supermarkets with empty shelves.

"Unprecedented heavy rain has been seen in cities, towns and villages for which the emergency warning was issued," Japan's Meteorological Agency (JMA) forecaster Yasushi Kajiwara told a press briefing.

Many bullet train services were halted, and several lines on the Tokyo metro were suspended for most of Saturday. All flights to and from Tokyo's Haneda airport and Narita airport in Chiba have been cancelled - more than 1,000 in total.

Two Rugby World Cup games scheduled for Saturday were cancelled on safety grounds and declared as draws - England-France and New Zealand-Italy. The cancellations were the first in the tournament's 32-year history.

Sunday's Namibia-Canada match due to take place in Kamaishi was also cancelled and declared a draw. The US-Tonga fixture in Osaka and Wales-Uruguay in Kumamoto will go ahead as scheduled on Sunday, organisers said. - AFP, BBC