Typhoon Haishen hits Japan, violent winds and heavy rains lash the country

WION Web Team
New Delhi Published: Sep 06, 2020, 06:58 PM(IST)

High waves triggered by Typhoon Haishen Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

Japan Meteorological Agency predicted "record-level rainfall", landslides and floods. Surging tides are expected to cause flooding in low-lying areas, particularly around river mouths.

Typhoon Haishen hit Japan on Sunday and bringing in its wake violent winds gusting up to 216 kmh (135 miles) and heavy rains. Japan Meteorological Agency predicted "record-level rainfall, landslides and floods. Surging tides are expected to cause flooding in low-lying areas, particularly around river mouths.

After lashing a string of exposed, remote southern islands, Haishen neared Japan's Kyushu region on Sunday evening, with authorities issues evacuation advisories for more than seven million residents.

As the storm passed over several remote islands earlier Sunday, strong winds bent palm trees and sheets of rain lashed the area.

Japanese PM Shinzo Abe goes in a huddle:

At an emergency cabinet meeting, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe warned that flooding and landslides were a possibility.

"Maximum caution is needed as record rain, violent winds, high waves and high tides are possible," he said.

"I ask the Japanese people, including those who live in high-risk areas for flooding rivers or high tides, to stay informed and take action immediately to ensure their safety," he added.

At 7 pm (1000 GMT), Haishen was located about 100 kilometres (62 miles) south-southwest of Makurazaki city.

 

The storm was forecast to move north and travel off the western coast of Kyushu before reaching South Korea Monday morning, according to the weather agency.

Authorities order evacuation of people:

Authorities issued evacuation orders for 1.8 million people in the affected area, with 5.6 million people issued lower-level advisories, national broadcaster NHK said.

Evacuation orders in Japan are not compulsory, though authorities strongly urge people to follow them.

Local officials asked people to avoid crowded shelters where possible, to reduce the risk of coronavirus infections, and some shelters were forced to turn people away in order to have enough space to maintain social distancing. 

In some places, residents were checking into local hotels to comply with evacuations advisories.

Hotel Polaris in Shibushi city, Kagoshima, said all 73 of its rooms were sold out for the weekend.

"This is a large building for our area. I think our guests have chosen to stay with us to feel safe," front desk employee Takayuki Shinmura told AFP, adding that it was unusual for all of the hotel's rooms to be occupied during typhoons.

Also Read: Japan orders evacuation of over 810,000 people as typhoon Haishen approaches: Reports

Those who sought hotel rooms said the pandemic and discomfort of public shelters were weighing on them.

"I am worried about coronavirus infections. We're with small children too, so we did not want other people to see us as big trouble," an elderly man in Shibushi city told NHK after checking in at a local hotel with seven relatives.

The storm has forced the cancellation of nearly 550 flights and disrupted train services, NHK said.

Many factories also suspended operations, including three plants operated by Toyota.

A total of 79,000 homes in Kagoshima and neighbouring Miyazaki lost power Sunday evening as the storm approached the region.

Haishen forced the Japanese coast guard to suspend its search for dozens of missing sailors from the Gulf Livestock 1 cargo ship that sank in an earlier storm.

Two survivors and the body of a third crew member were found before the search was suspended, and the coast guard said it will resume the operation when Haishen clears the region.

(With AFP inputs)

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