Hundreds of thousands of people in Japan have been warned to evacuate their homes amid warnings of “unprecedented” risks from an oncoming storm.
Typhoon Nanmadol is expected to hit the island of Kyushu on Sunday (18/9).
Winds can reach 270 km/h, and some areas can have 500 mm of rain in just 24 hours.
A “special alert” is in effect for Kyushu, with warnings of landslides and flooding. Train services and flights were cancelled.
Kyushu is the southernmost of the four islands that make up Japan’s main archipelago and has a population of over 13 million people.
This is the first special alert ever issued outside of Okinawa Prefecture, which consists of the smaller, remote islands of the East China Sea, reports the Japan Times.
When the typhoon makes landfall, it is expected to head northeast and move through central Japan towards Tokyo.
It is also expected to retain much of its strength even after making contact with the ground.
An official from Japan’s meteorological agency told reporters on Saturday (17/9): “There are risks of unprecedented storms, high waves, storms and record rains.”
Nanmadol, the official added, has the potential to be worse than Typhoon Jebi in 2018, which left 14 people dead, and Typhoon Hagibis, which caused widespread power outages in 2019.
The agency also warned that some homes, particularly in southern Kyushu, were at risk of collapsing, and urged residents to seek refuge in safer buildings.
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