Powerful Typhoon Nanmadol makes landfall in southwestern Japan






High waves are seen on the coast of Miyazaki Prefecture, southwest Japan, on September 18, 2022, due to the approaching Typhoon Nanmadol. (Kyodo)

TOKYO (Kyodo) – A large and powerful typhoon has made landfall in the Kyushu region of southwestern Japan, with the meteorological agency warning of unprecedented winds and waves and urging the utmost caution.

The Japan Meteorological Agency said Typhoon Nanmadol continued to move slowly north over Kyushu after making landfall in Kagoshima Prefecture and could travel along the main island of Honshu in the coming days. Several trains and flights have been cancelled.

The agency, which issued a special typhoon warning for Kagoshima on Saturday evening, said parts of neighboring Miyazaki Prefecture had seen linear bands of rain with more than 400 millimeters of rainfall recorded in some areas in the 24 hours until Sunday afternoon.

The Shikoku, Chugoku and Kinki regions in western Japan could see linear bands of rain through Monday morning, the agency warned.

This is the first time the agency has issued a special typhoon warning for an area other than Okinawa Prefecture.

Although the typhoon, the 14th this season, weakened slightly at 3 a.m. Sunday, there was still a possibility of maximum gusts of around 250 kilometers per hour. In Yakushima, Kagoshima Prefecture, winds of up to 183.24 km/h were recorded on Sunday morning.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida called on people across Japan to evacuate quickly if they “sense any danger” during a meeting with ministers and senior officials tasked with responding to the dangerous typhoon.

Kishida also ordered officials “to take all possible measures to ensure the safety and security of the people with a sense of urgency.”

Fukuoka, Kumamoto, Miyazaki and Nagasaki prefectures have all followed Kagoshima’s example and applied the disaster relief law to all their municipalities. This will allow them to receive support from local and central governments.

The typhoon, which had an atmospheric pressure of 935 hectopascals at its center, is moving at 20 km/h and is expected to curve east after reaching northern Kyushu and crossing Japan’s main archipelago.

The agency said Shikoku could see up to 500mm of rain in the 24 hours to Monday evening.

After many flights connecting Kyushu and other parts of Japan, as well as some train services in the southwest region, were canceled on Saturday due to the approaching typhoon, West Japan Railway Co. announced that it would stop operating all Sanyo Shinkansen bullet trains between Hiroshima and Hakata Stations on Monday.

The railway company said it would also reduce the number of high-speed trains running between Osaka and Hiroshima until around 2 p.m. Monday and then suspend services in sequence between the two major cities.

Central Japan Railway Co., meanwhile, said all Tokaido Shinkansen bullet trains between Osaka and Nagoya will be canceled starting Monday afternoon throughout the day. It will also significantly reduce the number of trains between Nagoya and Tokyo.

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