Fierce typhoon hits northern Japan after paralyzing Tokyo - PHOTO

Fierce typhoon hits northern Japan after paralyzing Tokyo - PHOTO
  • Clock-gray 07:09
  • calendar-gray 13 October 2019

The most powerful typhoon to hit Tokyo in decades plowed into northern Japan early on Sunday after fierce rain and wind paralyzed the capital, led to four deaths, millions under evacuation warnings, rivers flooded and normally busy streets deserted, APA reports citing Reuters.

Authorities lifted rain and flood warnings for the Kanto region around a becalmed Tokyo before dawn on Sunday but imposed them on areas further north after Typhoon Hagibis blasted through the capital.

Attention focused on Fukushima, where Tokyo Electric Power Co overnight reported irregular readings from sensors monitoring water in its Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, which was crippled by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

Three people died in Chiba, Gunma and Kanagawa prefectures surrounding Tokyo, while a man in his 60s was found with no vital signs in a flooded apartment in Kawasaki, public broadcaster NHK said. Seventeen were missing early Sunday, it said.

A 50-year-old man was killed near Tokyo early on Saturday in a car overturned by punishing winds, while another person died after being washed away in a car, public broadcaster NHK said. Nine people remain missing in landslides and flooding, it said.

Authorities issued evacuation advisories and orders for more than 6 million people across the country as the storm unleashed the heaviest rain and winds in years. Some 80 injuries have been reported so far, while more than 270,000 households lost power, NHK said.

The storm, which the government said could be the strongest to hit Tokyo since 1958, brought record-breaking rainfall in many areas, including the popular resort town of Hakone, which was hit with 939.5 mm (37 inches) of rain over 24 hours.

Hagibis, which means “speed” in the Philippine language Tagalog, made landfall on Japan’s main island of Honshu on Saturday evening. A magnitude 5.7 earthquake shook Tokyo shortly after.

Major shinkansen bullet trains from Tokyo would begin on schedule Sunday, NHK said.

Even as the typhoon moved away from the capital late on Saturday, one expert warned of further flooding as several surrounding prefectures began releasing water from dams, letting it flow downstream.

Faig Mahmudov

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