Two killed as fierce typhoon hits Tokyo, millions told to evacuate
Two men were killed, about 60 people injured and more than six million people advised to evacuate as a powerful typhoon bore down on the Japanese capital on Saturday, bringing with it the heaviest rain and winds in 60 years, reports Trend referring to Reuters.
Typhoon Hagibis, which means “speed” in the Philippine language Tagalog, made landfall on Japan’s main island of Honshu on Saturday evening, bursting some river banks and threatening to flood low-lying Tokyo as it coincides with high tide.
The storm, which the government warned could be the strongest to hit Tokyo since 1958, brought record-breaking rainfall in many areas, including the popular hot spring resort town of Hakone, with a whopping 939.5 mm (37 inches) of rain over 24 hours.
The Japan Meteorological Agency issued the highest alert level for 12 prefectures, including Tokyo, warning of amounts of rain that occur only once in decades.
“Damage from floods and landslides is likely taking place already,” an agency official told a news conference carried by public broadcaster NHK. “It is critical that people take action urgently to protect their lives and the lives of loved ones.”
Many people in and around Tokyo took shelter in temporary evacuation facilities earlier on Saturday before the worst arrived.
Yuka Ikemura, a 24-year-old nursery school teacher, was in one such facility at a community center in Edogawa in eastern Tokyo with her 3-year-old son, 8-month-old daughter and their pet rabbit.
She said she decided to move before it was too late.
“I’ve got small children to take care of and we live on the first floor of an old apartment,” Ikemura said.
“We brought with us the bare necessities. I’m scared to think about when we will have run out diapers and milk,” she told Reuters.