Typhoon Hagibis to Land in Central or Eastern Japan Sat. Evening

Society

Tokyo, Oct. 11 (Jiji Press)--Big and very strong Typhoon Hagibis is approaching Japan's main island without losing its power and is forecast to make landfall in the central or eastern region of the country on Saturday evening, the Japan Meteorological Agency said Friday, warning of record-breaking downpours, violent winds and high waves.

"We may issue special heavy rain warnings," Yasushi Kajihara, chief of the agency's Forecast Division, told a press conference. Special warnings are issued when a once-in-decades disaster looks imminent.

He warned about the possibility of massive rainfalls reaching levels equivalent to those at the time of the 1958 Kanogawa Typhoon, which caused numerous landslides and floods after landing in the Kanto eastern region and left as many as 1,269 people dead or missing. The typhoon is known by the name as many lost their lives due to the flooding of Kanogawa, or the Kano river, in the Izu Peninsula in eastern Japan.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe instructed his cabinet ministers, at a meeting on Friday morning, to take all-out, preemptive measures to cope with Typhoon Hagibis, the 19th typhoon of the year, to ensure people's safety. The government later held a meeting of related ministry and agency officials to check the responses to be taken.

The forecast of the typhoon's landing prompted airlines and railway operators, including East Japan Railway Co. <9020>, to announce scheduled suspensions of their services, disrupting the plans of vacationers and many others over the holiday-extended weekend in the country through Monday.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press