Super typhoon on track to drench Japan’s main island

Thursday, October 10, 2019

TOKYO (AP) — Japan is bracing for a super typhoon on track to hit central and eastern regions over the three-day weekend, with sport events and domestic flights canceled and sandbags given away to minimize potential damage from torrential rains and strong winds.

Typhoon Hagibis has already caused cancellations of two Rugby World Cup matches that were to be played Saturday. Organizers canceled the England-France match planned in Yokohama, near Tokyo, and New Zealand-Italy game in Toyota, in central Japan.

Organizers also called off a marathon in Sendai and other northern coastal towns. Formula One auto racing in Suzuka in central Japan may also be affected.

Japan’s Defense Ministry scrapped the first two days of the annual Oct. 12-14 navy review.

Hagibis, which means speed in Filipino, had maximum sustained winds of up to 270 kilometers (168 miles) and stronger gusts at noon Thursday near Chichi island in the Pacific, about 1,000 kilometers (620 miles) off Tokyo’s southern coast. It was moving north at the speed of 20 kph (12 mph) and is expected to weaken over cooler waters as it nears Japan’s main island.

It’s the equivalent of a Category 5 hurricane.

The Japan Meteorological Agency says the typhoon is forecast to hit ashore in the Tokyo area late Saturday and urged people to take precautions to avoid potentially lifethreatening danger. Japan’s central Pacific coast may see torrential rains beginning Friday while high waves and tides may cause flooding.

Airlines and train services anticipate cancellations affecting holidaymakers traveling over the three-day weekend that includes Sports Day holiday on Monday. All Nippon Airways said it is grounding all domestic flights Saturday in and out of Tokyo’s Haneda and Narita international airports.

Depending on the typhoon’s movement, All Nippon Airways and Japan Airlines said they may cancel flights as early as Friday.

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