Typhoon Nanmadol strikes Japan as millions told to evacuate

Authorities have ordered more than 8 million people to evacuate southern and western Japan ahead of a powerful typhoon. Made landfall Sunday at 7pm local time in Kagoshima prefecture in the southern part of the country.

Weather Expert predictions Typhoon Nanmadol could be one of the most destructive tropical storms to hit Japan in recent decades, bringing devastating winds and flooding to much of the country.

The storm’s forecast track passes through much of Japan’s main island of Honshu, meaning major cities including Kyoto and Tokyo will feel the effects. The storm is expected to gradually weaken as it moves northeastward and will exit over the Pacific on Tuesday.

When Nanmadol came ashore in Kagoshima Prefecture, the southernmost point of Kyushu – the third largest of Japan’s five main islands – its pressure was the fourth lowest on record for a typhoon hitting the country in 1951. The lower the pressure, the more intense the storm, according to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center.The storm’s peak winds at landfall were estimated at about 110 mph, equivalent to a Category 2 hurricane.

Shortly after landfall, those winds dropped from about 90 mph to 115 mph. While forecast to weaken, the storm was still expected to remain at typhoon strength — with winds of at least 75 mph — by Monday morning when it made landfall in Kyoto. It was predicted to be due west.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishidaon Sunday afternoon Residents stressed To move affected areas “to a safer place while it’s still light,” as he called a meeting of emergency staff. “Pay close attention to weather information and evacuation information, stay away from dangerous places such as rivers, waterways and places where there is a risk of landslides, and feel free to evacuate if you feel even the slightest danger.” “

Before landfall, the Japan Meteorological Agency said the typhoon was packing winds of up to 168 mph near the remote island of Manami Dato, southeast of Okinawa. The typhoon weakened somewhat as it turned north, but sustained winds of 97 mph in Kagoshima, southern Kyushu. According to national broadcaster NHK, some small islands in southern Japan were also hit by tsunami reports on Sunday afternoon after the earthquake in Taiwan.

A Level 5 alert, the highest on Japan’s disaster warning scale, was issued to more than 330,000 people, with Level 4 evacuation orders for more than 8 million people in Kyushu, according to national broadcaster NHK. , which is in the southwestern part of the main islands of Japan. Along with Shikoku and Chugoku regions. Dozens of flights were canceled or diverted Sunday due to bad weather, according to notices posted by Japan. Major airlines, and some areas were without electricity. There were bullet train services to Kyushu. Also suspendedlocal media reported.

Ryota Korora, head of the Japan Meteorological Agency’s forecasting unit, told a news conference that “unprecedented” storms – including high tides, storm surges and record rainfall – could hit the region. By Sunday evening, some sites in far southern Japan had already been spotted. Two feet of rain.

Authorities Advised earlier Residents are advised to “be extremely cautious of storm surges, high tides and storm surges,” as well as landslides and flooding. Waves of up to 14 meters (46 feet) are forecast in some areas on Sunday. The agency warned that violent winds in western Japan would continue into Monday and “some houses may collapse” on Kyushu. “Ensure your safety as soon as possible,” he said.

Alaska’s most powerful storm in decades

is in Japan. Storm season, which typically brings more than a dozen storms a year. In 2019, Typhoon Hagibis produced a record flood that caused Deadly floods And more than 80 people were killed by landslides in heavily populated areas of northern Japan.

That storm was particularly deadly because the typhoon’s core, with its heaviest rains and strongest winds, persisted as it swept over Tokyo and dumped heavy rains into northeastern Japan as well.

Scientists say global warming is increasing the intensity of storms, causing more frequent and severe weather events worldwide. Researchers are also beginning to attribute the economic cost of weather events to climate change.

Oh The study was published This year in the Journal of Climate Change, an estimated $4 billion of the estimated $15 billion in damage caused by Typhoon Higibus in Japan in 2019 can be attributed to global warming, including record rainfall. Is. Other studies have used similar methods to calculate the climate change-related costs of hurricanes in the North Atlantic.

The typhoon warning in Japan comes as a powerful typhoon – the most powerful in decades – West Coast Coastal areas of Alaska are experiencing major flooding and wind gusts of up to 90 mph. Meanwhile, I Puerto RicoA hurricane warning has been issued as Tropical Storm Fiona gathers strength.

Andrew Friedman contributed to this report.

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