‘Unprecedented’ storm hits Japan; 4 lakh asked to run away

Officials warned of ‘unprecedented’ waves and winds from Hurricane Nanmadol, urging the evacuation of 4 million people on the island of Kyushu.

At least 4 million people have been ordered to evacuate in southern Japan as a powerful storm bears strong winds and heavy rain in the region, causing power blackouts and halting land and air transport.

The super typhoon was near the southern island of Yakushima, packing maximum surface winds of 162 km/h (101 mph) as it slowly moved north toward the country’s third largest and southernmost island, Kyushu. where it could make landfall later in the day. The Japan Meteorological Agency said on Sunday.

Nanmadol is forecast to turn east and reach Tokyo on Tuesday.

NHK broadcaster said that local authorities have ordered the evacuation of four million people living in Kyushu, with the JMA predicting the island will receive 500 mm (20 inches) of rain and 250 km/h (155 mph) winds. can receive blows.

The agency warned residents of the affected area of ​​”unprecedented” levels of flooding, landslides, as well as powerful winds and waves, and urged them to evacuate quickly.

Local authorities have not reported any major damage or injuries so far.

Typhoon Nanmadol is shown in this Saturday, September 17, 2022 satellite image released by NASA as it is moving toward southwest Japan.
This September 17 satellite image by NASA shows Typhoon Nanmadol, which is approaching southwest Japan [NASA Worldview, EOSDIS via AP]

On Sunday, more than 9,000 residents took shelter at evacuation centers in Kagoshima Prefecture. In neighboring Miyazaki Prefecture, another 4,700 people were evacuated.

More than 93,000 homes across the island were without electricity on Sunday due to damage to power lines and facilities, Kyushu Electric Power Company said.

Footage on NHK television showed a pachinko pinball parlor in Kanoya City, Kagoshima, with a glass wall shattered by gusts of wind. Elsewhere in the prefecture, an elderly woman suffered minor injuries from a fall, NHK said.

According to Japan Airlines and All Nippon Airways, hundreds of domestic flights in and out of the region have been canceled and there are plans to move northeast as the storm hits western Japan by Tuesday.

Public transport, including trains and buses, was suspended throughout Sunday in Kagoshima and Miyazaki.

Railway operators said bullet trains on Kyushu have been suspended.

The storm is forecast to pass over Japan’s main island of Honshu early next week before turning east and heading into the sea by Wednesday.


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