In advance of a large and powerful typhoon that is forecast to make landfall on Sunday and produce up to half a metre (20 inches) of rain, the Japan Meteorological Agency recommended inhabitants to leave areas of the southern island of Kyushu on Saturday.
The United States Navy’s connectt Typhoon Warning Center has designated Nanmadol as a super typhoon, and it has the potential to be the most deadly tropical storm to hit Japan in decades.
Typhoon #Nanmadol rapidly intensified to super typhoon status with an estimated intensity of 135 kt, just shy of category 5-equivalent intensity.
Latest forecasts expect the storm to recurve and then track overland along the spine of southern Japan. That’s a terrifying scenario. pic.twitter.com/tWT5TBGPcW
— Dr. Kim Wood (@DrKimWood) September 16, 2022
The prospect of strong waves and heavy rains in the area has prompted Japan’s weather agency to say it may issue a “special warning” for Kagoshima prefecture and other areas of Kyushu, the country’s southernmost main island, as early as Saturday evening. As per local media, it would be the first such alert for any prefecture north of the Okinawa island group.
JMA official Ryuta Kurora advised locals to leave the area before it gets dark during a news conference that was broadcast on television due to the possibility of “unprecedented” storms and rains.
The agency predicted that southern Kyushu might receive 500 millimetres of rain on Sunday while central Tokai could receive 300 millimetres.
Prior to more extensive suspensions on Sunday, Kyushu Railway Co. started suspending several train routes on Saturday. As per broadcaster NHK, numerous weekend flights in the south have been cancelled.
On Saturday afternoon, Nanmadol, the 14th typhoon of the season, was moving northwest at a speed of 20 kilometres (12 miles) per hour as it passed through southern Japan’s Minami-Daito Island. As per the JMA, the storm’s centre is experiencing winds of 198 km/h (123 mph), with gusts as high as 270 kph.
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.
As the storm neared, domestic stations displayed pictures of severe gusts and rain pelting Japan’s southern island chain of Okinawa.
(with inputs from agencies)