Powerful Typhoon Threatens Tokyo

Hagibis could bring 2 feet of rain to city

With a powerful typhoon expected to bring 2 feet of rain and damaging winds to the Tokyo area this weekend, Japan’s government warned people Friday to stockpile supplies and evacuate before it’s too dangerous. The Rugby World Cup and other events were canceled for Saturday, and flights and train services were halted. “In order to protect your own life and your loved ones, please try to start evacuating early before it gets dark and the storm becomes powerful,”

Meteorological Agency forecast department chief Yasushi Kajihara told a news conference. Kajihara said Typhoon Hagibis resembled a typhoon that hit the Tokyo region in 1958 with heavy rains and left a half-million houses flooded, the AP reports. More than 1,200 people died in that storm.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s Cabinet is to hold a disaster management meeting later Friday. “The government is doing the utmost to prepare for the approaching typhoon,” disaster management minister Ryota Takeda told reporters, and urged people to prepare early and obtain food and water.

Much of Tokyo is below sea level, and meteorologists say as many as 5 million people might have to be evacuated from their homes in floodwaters overwhelm levees, the New York Times reports. The typhoon is spreading fear especially in Chiba, near Tokyo, which was hit by Typhoon Faxai last month and where homes still have damage.

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