“Hagibis” brings masses of water – highest warning level for tokyo

An unusually violent typhoon brought torrential rain to tokyo and surrounding regions, killing at least two people.

Dozens were injured in the storm’s booms on saturday, and several people were considered missing in the evening (local time), japanese television reported.

Because of the danger posed by the precipitation, which threatened to become the worst in about 60 years, authorities had issued the highest warning level for the first time for tokyo and six other regions. In the evening (local time), however, the intensity of the hurricane was downgraded from "very strong" to "strong.

More than three million people in the country were advised to seek shelter from hagibis (filipino for "fast"), known in japan simply as typhoon number 19. In tokyo, the tamagawa river overflowed its banks in the evening. Other rivers in the region are also threateningly swollen.

Landslides in places. A man in gumma province died when his house was flooded. Another was killed by an overturned truck in tokio’s neighboring province of chiba, where a typhoon had already hit in september and caused massive power outages.

Authorities had previously warned that the typhoon, with wind speeds of up to 216 kilometers per hour, could hit tokyo and other areas of eastern japan with the worst rainfall since the 1958 typhoon that killed more than 1,200 people in the region.

In view of this, the inhabitants of the island kingdom got off lightly this time, according to first appearances. However, the exact extent of the damage was initially unclear because of the darkness. The typhoon moved on to the north in the night to sunday.

Some trams were under water, dozens of houses in the greater tokyo area were damaged, some badly. The cyclone made landfall in the evening (local time) near the izu peninsula near tokyo. Shortly before, the greater tokyo area was also hit by a severe earthquake. However, there was no danger of a tsunami, according to the national meteorological agency. Also, there were no reports of injuries as a result of the shock of the strong 5.7.

Many department stores and stores in tokyo and the surrounding area remained closed on saturday. Shelves in some stores in the capital were bare as many residents took the precaution of stocking up on water and food. Streets and train stations were deserted. Railroad operators had announced in good time traffic restrictions for the weekend in the west and east including tokyo.

The airline all nippon airways (ANA) canceled all domestic flights and most international flights to and from the two tokyo airports haneda and narita for saturday. Japan airlines (JAL) also decided to cancel most flights on saturday.

Authorities warned early that houses could collapse in the strong gale force winds. Some residents covered the roofs of their houses, which were often of lightweight construction, with blue plastic tarpaulins as a precautionary measure. Some taped their windows for fear that they will break in the storm. Others barricaded them with boards.

Rescue operations became more difficult after nightfall. Local television showed scenes from tokio’s neighboring city of kawasaki, where a man was rescued from a flooded apartment building. Firefighters worked their way up to the hoof in the water. In other places, too, emergency crews had to bring people to safety.

Hundreds of thousands of people were cut off from the power supply in the meantime. Companies like the two rough carmakers toyota and honda love to rest the bander in some of their factories that day. The government in tokyo instructed all relevant ministries to take necessary measures to deal with the aftermath of the typhoon.

In addition, out of concern for the threatening effects of the typhoon, the formula 1 qualifying for the japan grand prix will not take place until race sunday. All activities planned for saturday at the suzuka international racing course were canceled. Two matches at the current rugby world cup in japan also had to be canceled. The hurricane is expected to pass over the pacific on sunday.

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