With Japan’s Meteorological Agency (JMA) saying the deadly Typhoon Hagibis is likely to make landfall near Tokyo on Saturday evening, the country has issued its highest level of emergency rainfall warnings for Tokyo and many surrounding areas on Saturday, reports The Washington Post.
The government has advised more than five million people to evacuate their homes to avoid landslides and flooding, as one of the most severe typhoon in decades threatened the capital.The storm has already disrupted the Rugby World Cup, with two games just outside Tokyo cancelled on Saturday, and is threatening Sunday’s Formula One Grand Prix in Suzuka. Now, it threatens one of the world’s most densely populated cities, with rivers in and around Tokyo already close to bursting.
Nerves were set on edge in the capital as residents’ mobile phones issued a series of siren-style alerts on Saturday afternoon warning of steadily rising risks of flooding and mudslides. JMA had warned the previous day that Hagibis, which means “speed” in the Philippine language Tagalog, could be as severe as a 1958 typhoon that killed more than 1,200 people in Tokyo and elsewhere in the country.
People who had left it too late to move to shelters were advised to relocate to a higher floor or find a nearby strong building, as the JMA predicted rainfall “with a level of intensity observed only once every few decades.”