Millions of people have been told to evacuate when Typhoon Nanmadol lands

Millions of people have been told to evacuate when Typhoon Nanmadol lands

A man crosses torrential winds and winds in Miyazaki city after Typhoon Nanmadol landed in Japan

A man crosses torrential winds and winds in Miyazaki city after Typhoon Nanmadol landed in Japan

One of the largest typhoons to ever hit Japan landed on the southern island of Kyushu.

Typhoon Nanmadol brought winds of at least 180 km / h (112 mph) and some areas could see 500 mm (20 inches) of rain between Sunday and Monday.

At least four million people have been told to evacuate their homes.

Extensive floods and landslides are expected, while high-speed train services, ferries and hundreds of flights have been canceled.

The typhoon landed near the city of Kagoshima at the southern tip of Kyushu on Sunday morning.

Kyushu is the southernmost of the four islands that make up Japan’s main body and has a population of over 13 million people.

Authorities had issued a “special alert” for the island, the first ever put in place outside of Okinawa prefecture, which consists of Japan’s smallest and most remote islands in the East China Sea, reports the Japan Times.

The Japanese Meteorological Agency said Nanmadol would bring torrential rains, storm surges along the coast and winds so strong that there was a risk that houses could collapse.

An official in the city of Izumi said conditions on Sunday afternoon were deteriorating rapidly.

“The wind has become extremely strong. The rain is also falling hard,” he told AFP news agency. “Outside there is a total absence of visibility. Visibility is almost zero.”

The typhoon is now moving north through Kyushu, dropping huge amounts of rain on the island’s mountainous center.

In the next few days it is expected to travel through central Japan to Tokyo and maintain much of its strength as it moves.

The biggest threat to life and property is rain, which is already causing rivers to rise and could trigger landslides and landslides.

Kyushu people have been told to seek refuge in shelters, but evacuation notices are not required and in the past authorities have struggled to get people to move to shelter before extreme weather events.

By Sunday evening, utility companies said nearly 200,000 homes were without electricity.

In a statement, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida told people to “evacuate without hesitation if they feel unsafe in any way.”

“I solicit [everyone] to avoid approaching potentially dangerous places such as rivers and other waterways or places at risk of landslides, “he said.

“It is extremely dangerous to evacuate at night. I urge the public to evacuate to a safe place before sunset.”

Nanmadol is the 14th Pacific typhoon this season and by far the largest to hit Japan.

Speaking on Saturday, an official from the Japanese meteorological agency said it could be worse than both Typhoon Jebi in 2018, which killed 14 people, and Typhoon Hagibis, which caused widespread power outages in 2019.

The country is well prepared for such storms, but scientists say climate change is making them bigger and more destructive.

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