Typhoon Hagibis Could Break Records In Japan

Typhoon Hagibis could break records in Japan

One of the most powerful storms of the year is forecast to make landfall in Japan on Saturday. Typhoon Hagibis is expected to bring record-breaking rain and winds to the Tokai area and the Kanto region, including Tokyo.

The Japan Meteorological Agency says that the large and very strong typhoon is on a northerly path over the Pacific south of the main island of Honshu.

The agency says Hagibis is packing winds of 180 kilometers per hour near its center and gusts of up to 252 kilometers per hour.

It says the typhoon is likely to maintain its large storm zone and extreme strength as it approaches the Tokai and Kanto regions on Saturday, between late afternoon and night.

Heavy rain is likely in wide parts of Honshu, especially in Tokai and Kanto where downpours may reach record levels. Weather officials say they may issue emergency warnings.

They say Hagibis could bring rainfall on the same level as the "Kanogawa Typhoon" of 1958 that left more than 1,200 people dead or missing in Shizuoka and the Kanto region.

Strong winds are expected to buffet wide areas from western to northern Japan on Saturday. Caution is advised for possible record-breaking gusts in Tokai and Kanto.

Wind speeds may reach up to 162 kilometers per hour in Tokai and 144 kilometers per hour in Kanto-Koshin. Maximum gusts of 216 kilometers per hour may hit both regions.

Waves may reach 13 meters off Tokai, Kanto and the Izu Islands, and 10 meters off Tohoku and Kinki regions. Storm surges are expected in eastern Japan and the Kinki region between Saturday afternoon and evening.

Weather officials are urging people to keep track of the latest weather bulletins and local evacuation advisories, and to flee to safety before conditions deteriorate.