On Friday, a powerful typhoon approached Japan which may hit its capital with the heaviest rain and winds in 60 years. It caused closing stores, factories, and subway systems and disrupting a Formula One Grand Prix and rugby’s World Cup.
The strong typhoon has been named Hagibis which means “speed” in the Philippine language Tagalog. It is due to make landfall on the main island of Honshu on Saturday. It appears just a month after one of the strongest typhoons to hit Japan in recent years destroyed or damaged 30,000 houses and caused extensive power outages.
The Japan Meteorological Agency has warned that the storm may be the strongest to hit Tokyo since 1958 and people were advised to stay prepared for high waves and storm surges. A weather department official said, “The typhoon could bring record-level rainfall and winds.”
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe ordered his cabinet ministers to do their utmost to secure people’s safety. Officials in the Chiba prefecture east of Tokyo told people to prepare for food and water for up to three days.
Some supermarkets ran out packaged water and batteries. Twitter users posted photographs of bare shelves and traded tips on how to prepare for water band power cuts. Last month, Typhoon Faxai destroyed more than 30,000 houses in Chiba that yet to be prepared.
Japanese Formula One Grand Prix organizers dismissed all practice and qualifying sessions scheduled for Saturday. Before the final race takes place, the qualifying round will be held on Sunday, it added.
The typhoon threat has already forced to cancel two matches of the Rugby World Cup on Saturday, while a Sunday match between host Japan and Scotland is in doubt. Bullet trains between Tokyo and Nagoya will be suspended from Saturday morning, said, train operators.