Japan on highest alert as huge typhoon set to hit Tokyo area
TOKYO. KAZINFORM - Japan was at its highest level of alert Saturday morning as a major typhoon edged closer to Tokyo and other areas of eastern Japan, with train operators and airlines set to suspend most services in the metropolitan area, Kazinform refers to Keyodo News.
Typhoon Hagibis, which could dump amounts of rain not seen since a deadly typhoon in 1958, is expected to make landfall on the Pacific coast of central Japan or eastern Japan on Saturday evening, the Japan Meteorological Agency said.
The projected path of the typhoon may result in further damage to areas in Chiba Prefecture near Tokyo where another powerful typhoon triggered widespread power outages in September.
Chiba's prefectural government said a tornado hit part of Ichihara city and destroyed a house, injuring four people. Their injuries were not life-threatening, it said.
Central Japan prefectures, such as Mie and Shizuoka, and Kanagawa southwest of Tokyo have issued evacuation advisories to many of their municipalities. The Tokyo metropolitan government advised residents mainly in its western suburbs to evacuate.
There will be no shinkansen bullet train service between Tokyo and Nagoya on Saturday. Just six early-morning trains will run between Nagoya and Shin-Osaka, and operations between Shin-Osaka and Okayama will be canceled from the afternoon.
East Japan Railway Co. said it will gradually suspend train runs in the Tokyo metropolitan area from Saturday morning and halt services around 1 p.m., including its Tohoku and Hokuriku shinkansen services.
All Nippon Airways Co. said it will cancel all domestic flights and most international flights to and from Tokyo's Haneda and Narita airports on Saturday.
Japan Airlines Co. has also decided to cancel most of its flights on Saturday.
Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea, located in a bayside area near the capital, will be closed from Saturday morning to Sunday noon, according to operator Oriental Land Co. It will be the first whole-day closure for the theme parks since 2011 when a massive earthquake and tsunami hit northeastern Japan.
According to the weather agency, the predicted rainfall amounts would be in line with those deposited by Typhoon Ida in September 1958, which left 1,200 people dead or missing across Japan.