Typhoon Hagibis: One Dead and Millions Evacuated in Japan Under Purple Skies

5.16 million evacuation advisories have been ordered up and down Honshu’s south coast while the skies turn purple.
Loukia Papadopoulos

Typhoon Hagibis has begun its rampage along the Pacific coast of Japan’s main island with 5.16 million evacuation advisories ordered up and down Honshu’s south coast. The furious storm has even resulted in one fatality.


One fatality

A man from Ichihara, a city in Chiba Prefecture, was killed when his vehicle was upturned. The 49-year-old man was taken to hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Typhoon Hagibis is the most powerful storm to hit the country in 60 years. It has already resulted in some areas being flooded and tens of thousands of homes without power.

Winds of 180km/h (111mph) could cause further damage and problems, the Japan Meteorological Agency has warned as it classified the storm as “very strong.”

Hagibis is now advancing on a northerly path over the south of Honshu and it is set on a collision course with Tokyo and the wider Kanto region. 

Meanwhile, the skies turned purple right before the storm with social media users posting surreal images. The beautiful tint is the result of a weather phenomenon called "scattering."

Events canceled

The storm comes at an unfortunate time as some Rugby World Cup matches and Formula One races have had to be canceled.

Hagibis means "speed" in the Philippine language Tagalog and the storm could be the strongest Japan has faced since the Kanogawa Typhoon in 1958, which left more than 1,200 people dead or missing.

Flights in and out of Japan have been disrupted, with Tokyo’s two main airports subject to the most cancellations. Meanwhile, trains have suspended service throughout the Tokyo region, including bullet train service between the capital and Osaka and between Osaka and Fukuoka, on the island of Kyushu.

As of Saturday afternoon, the typhoon was classified as the equivalent of a Category 4 hurricane under the five-step Saffir-Simpson scale.

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