‘Unprecedented’ super typhoon approaches Japan, officials urge evacuation

The U.S. Navy has designated Nanmadol to be the most destructive tropical storm to hit Japan in decades.
Baba Tamim
The Japan Meteorological Agency issued a 'very dangerous' typhoon warning for the country's southern Kyushu island on Saturday.
The Japan Meteorological Agency issued a 'very dangerous' typhoon warning for the country's southern Kyushu island on Saturday.

Japan Meteorological Agency 

Kyushu island in southern Japan is in the path of a "very dangerous" typhoon, and the weather agency in Japan has advised citizens to leave the area before powerful winds arrive.

On Saturday, the weather agency reported that Typhoon Nanmadol was passing close to the isolated Minami Daito island, 400 kilometers (250 miles) east of Okinawa island, with gusts of up to 270 kilometers (168 miles) per hour, reported Physics.org.

"There are risks of unprecedented storms, high waves, storm surges, and record rainfall," Ryuta Kurora, the head of the Japan Meteorological Agency's forecast unit, told reporters.

"Maximum caution is required," he said, urging residents to evacuate early.

The U.S. Navy's Joint Typhoon Warning Center has designated Nanmadol as a super typhoon, and it has the potential to be the most destructive tropical storm to hit Japan in decades.

Southern Kyushu prefecture of Kagoshima is where the storm is predicted to approach or make landfall on Sunday.

The weather agency predicted that southern Kyushu might receive 500 millimeters of rain on Sunday while central Tokai could receive 300 millimeters.

The storm is comparable to Class 5 hurricane

The storm is then forecast to proceed north the next day before making its way into the main Japanese island.

The Japanese meteorological department is likely to issue the highest alarm for Kagoshima, according to Kurora.

"The wind will be so fierce that some houses might collapse," Kurora added, warning of heavy flooding and landslides.

The weather service issued a rare "special warning" concerning Typhoon Nanmadol, telling two million people in Japan to seek shelter ahead of the storm's arrival, according to national broadcaster NHK.

The storm, which is comparable in strength to an Atlantic Ocean class 5 hurricane, is expected to turn eastward and pass over Tokyo on Tuesday before dissipating into the sea by Wednesday.

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Approximately 20 typhoons impact Japan annually, and the country is presently in typhoon season. These storms frequently bring severe rainfall that results in landslides or flash floods.

Strong typhoons frequently halt flights, trains, and expressways in Japan, putting the country's transportation network at a standstill. Travel agencies and accommodations typically cooperate and offer free cancellation or rescheduling for typhoon-affected reservations.

Typhoons have occasionally resulted in hundreds of deaths in the past, in Japan. Such as the Isewan Typhoon in 1959, which claimed the lives of almost 5000 people.

However, typhoon-related fatalities have declined during the past few decades.

These storms are most dangerous when they coincide with high tide because they can cause landslides, abrupt rises in river levels from torrential rain, and storm surges along the shore.

Scientists claim that as a result of climate change, storms are becoming more severe, and extreme weather events like heat waves, droughts, and flash floods are increasingly more frequent and intense.

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