Flood-hit Japan braces itself for potent typhoon

Pedestrians struggling against strong winds and rain in Tokyo, Japan, on July 28, 2018, as Typhoon Jongdari is expected to make landfall.
Pedestrians struggling against strong winds and rain in Tokyo, Japan, on July 28, 2018, as Typhoon Jongdari is expected to make landfall. PHOTO: EPA-EFE

TOKYO • A powerful typhoon hurtled towards Japan yesterday, prompting the local authorities to issue early evacuation orders, with western areas recently devastated by floods and landslides in the storm's path.

Typhoon Jongdari, packing winds of up to 180kmh, was forecast to make landfall on the country's main island late yesterday or early today, according to Japan's Meteorological Agency.

TV footage showed high waves smashing onto rocks and seawalls on the coastline in Shimoda, southwest of Tokyo, and trees buffeted by strong winds and heavy rain. Hundreds of domestic flights were cancelled yesterday, news reports said.

The storm is expected to move towards the western Chugoku region today, where record rainfall earlier this month unleashed flooding and landslides, killing about 220 and leaving over 4,000 still living in temporary shelters.

The weather agency warned of heavy rain, landslides, strong winds and high waves, and urged people to consider early evacuation.

The western city of Shobara in Hiroshima prefecture issued an evacuation order to 36,400 residents as a precautionary measure, officials said.

TV footage showed workers and residents hurriedly piling up sandbags to build temporary barriers against potential floods.

"Although it has not rained here, we are urging people to evacuate before it gets dark," city official Masaharu Kataoka told Agence France-Presse.

More evacuation orders and advisories were issued in western Japan, including Kure in Hiroshima prefecture, news reports said.

"It's going to deal a double punch," a resident in Okayama told public broadcaster NHK, referring to the recent killer downpours and the incoming typhoon.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on July 29, 2018, with the headline 'Flood-hit Japan braces itself for potent typhoon'. Print Edition | Subscribe