Wed, 13 Nov 2019

Typhoon travelling at 225kph causes widespread destruction in Japan

By Jay Jackson, Oklahoma City News.Net
13 Oct 2019, 17:59 GMT+10

TOKYO, Japan - Japan is counting the cost after one of the most devastating storms to hit the country in decades caused widespread flooding and landslides across the nation.

Typhoon Hagibis is said to have reached speeds of up to 225 kilometres, breaching banks of rivers in more than a dozen places.

Airlines cancelled more than a thousand flights, in and out of Japan. A further 800 flights were cancelled on Sunday.

According to Kyodo News, the storm has killed at least 35 people through being carried away by landslides, or having drowned, while another seventeen are missing as of Sunday afternoon, NHK, Japan's state broadcaster said.The typhoon has resulted in the cancellation of three Rugby World Cup games in Yokohama, where the 2019 cup is being contested. The New Zealand versus Italy game, and the match between England and France, both of which were to have been played on Saturday were cancelled. The Namibia and Canada game, which was to have been played in Kamaishai on Sunday was also called off. "The decision to cancel matches has not been taken lightly and has been made in the best interests of public, team, tournament personnel and volunteer safety, based on expert advice and detailed weather information. While we have extensively explored all options, public and team safety was our utmost priority as well as ensuring a consistent, fair and equitable outcome for all teams. All fans with tickets for a cancelled match will receive a full refund for the face value of their match tickets," the World Rugby and the Japan Rugby 2019 Organising Committee said in a statement.

Hagibis was heading north and was expected to move back into the North Pacific later on Sunday.

It made landfall on Saturday just before 7:00pm local time (10:00 GMT), in Izu Peninsula, south-west of Tokyo and travelled up the east coast.

Around 425,000 homes lost power.

"Unprecedented heavy rain has been seen in cities, towns and villages for which the emergency warning was issued," Japan's Meteorological Agency (JMA) forecaster Yasushi Kajiwara told a press briefing on Saturday.

Transport was disrupted across the country with bullet trains being put out of action, some of them being submerged by flooding. The Tokyo Metro also saw a number of its lines closed.

Many bullet train services were halted, and several lines on the Tokyo metro were suspended for most of Saturday.

27,000 service members, coast guard and fire fighters have been dispatched to the worst-hit areas to assist in rescue and recovery measures.

(Photo credit: Kyodo).

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