Extremely powerful typhoon expected to land in Japan’s Kyushu region

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Knocked-down signs are seen at a bus stop in Kagoshima City on Sunday.

Typhoon No. 14 passed near Yakushima Island on Sunday afternoon, one of the strongest typhoons ever seen.

The Japan Meteorological Agency has warned of record-breaking rainfall in southern and northern Kyushu, and called for extreme precautions against landslides and other disasters. It issued a special warning for wind storms, waves and storm surges in Kagoshima Prefecture on Saturday night, urging the utmost caution due to their potentially unprecedented strength.

The northern Kyushu region is also likely to experience record wind storms and high waves. The risk of disasters caused by heavy rainfall may increase sharply on Monday, if a linear rainband that causes heavy rainfall develops in the Chugoku region in addition to the Kyushu and Shikoku regions, according to the advisory.

The typhoon was moving north-northwest on Sunday morning. The pressure at its center was 930 hectopascals and the maximum wind speed was 45 meters per second as of Sunday afternoon. Parts of southern Kyushu and the Amami region are in the storm zone with wind speeds of 25 meters per second or higher, and the typhoon is likely to approach Kyushu and possibly make landfall through Monday.

It is expected to hit western Japan on Monday, and possibly destroy houses mainly in southern and the Amami areas of Kyushu and northern Kyushu. The maximum instantaneous wind speed was expected later Sunday to reach 70 meters per second.

Heavy rainfall is expected nationwide, with precipitation expected to total 500 milliliters in southern Kyushu in the 24 hours through noon Monday.

An “emergency safety measure” at alert level 5, the highest risk level of evacuation information, was issued Sunday in Hioki, Izumi, and Nishinoomote city in Kagoshima Prefecture, and in Miyakonojo city in Miyazaki Prefecture.

Fukuoka, Kumamoto, and Miyazaki prefectures decided Sunday to apply the Disaster Relief Act to all their municipalities. Kagoshima Prefecture had already applied the law on Saturday, marking the first time since last year’s revision of the law that it was applied before a disaster.

Applying the law brings support for the cost of operating evacuation centers, thereby enabling the prompt issuance of evacuation orders.

Some Shinkansen trains will be canceled from Sunday through Monday nationwide.

Kyushu Shinkansen trains have been suspended between Kumamoto and Kagoshima-Chuo all day on Sunday, and between Hakata and Kumamoto from midday through the rest of the day, according to JR Kyushu.

JR West said the Sanyo Shinkansen between Hiroshima and Hakata will be suspended for all of Monday. In addition, Tokaido Shinkansen trains between Nagoya and Osaka will be canceled from Monday afternoon through the rest of the day, and that trains between Tokyo and Nagoya will be greatly reduced.

The Yomiuri Shimbun