Typhoon Hagibis makes landfall in Japan; leaves two dead

The typhoon Hagibis has made landfall in Japan and killed two and left 33 people injured.

Based on the reports of the Fire and Disaster Management Agency (FDMA) and the fire department of Tomikoka City, one man has died due to a tornado while the other from a landslide.

According to the Japanese government, Hagibis could be the strongest typhoon to hit Tokyo since 1958. The Japan Meteorological Agency has warned the public about the amounts of rain that Habigis will be bringing to the country.

The agency has issued Emergency Weather Warning (Level 5) to those living in areas like Tokyo, Kanagawa, and other surrounding prefectures. Over 24 hours, Hagibis has brought 27.6 inches of rain in Kanagawa prefecture.

“It is a level 5 situation; some sort of disaster may have already taken place. People are strongly advised to act to protect their lives right away,” said JMA weather forecaster, Yasushi Kajiwara.

Tens of millions of people have been affected by the typhoon. Evacuation advisories were issued in the Tokyo region. About 936,113 people from eight prefectures have been ordered to evacuate. According to the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) and Chub Electric Power Company, about 292,770 households are currently without power.

Heavy winds have caused damages to eastern Tokyo, particularly in Chiba. Just a month ago, the area was ravaged by one of the strongest typhoons to hit the country in recent years. About 30,000 homes were either damaged or destroyed.

Experts have also issued a warning that Tokyo is at risk of flooding. According to the director of the Japan Riverfront Research Center, Nobuyuki Tsuchiya, Tokyo is vulnerable to storm surges and its damages.

“We are heading towards high tide. If the typhoon hits Tokyo when the tide is high, that could cause storm surges and that would be the scariest scenario. People in Tokyo have been in a false sense of security,” said Nobuyuki Tsuchiya.

In a study by the Japan Society of Civil Engineers in June 2018, researchers have concluded that if there will be a huge storm surge in Tokyo Bay, it could lead to about 8,000 deaths. It could also cause damages amounting to around $106 billion. The bulk of the damage would be on infrastructures like roads, bridges, and subway railway lines.

In 2018, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government conducted a disaster simulation. In the event of a worst-case scenario, more than 80 square miles of the city could be submerged. This is about one-third of Tokyo.

For safety reasons, flights to and from Narita and Haneda airports have been suspended. The suspension has affected over a thousand flights.

Organizers of the Rugby World Cup have canceled the matches between New Zealand and Italy, and England and France scheduled this Saturday.

Scheduled activities related to the Formula One Japanese Grand Prix this Saturday have also been canceled. If the weather improves by Sunday, the race will proceed.

3:04 PM: Edited

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