In advance of a sizable and potent typhoon that is forecast to make landfall on Sunday and produce up to half a meter (20 inches) of rain, the Japan Meteorological Agency recommended inhabitants leave areas of the southern island of Kyushu on Saturday. The U.S. Navy’s Joint Typhoon Warning Center has designated Nanmadol as a super typhoon, and it has the potential to be the most deadly tropical storm to hit Japan in decades.
The prospect of strong waves and heavy rains in the area has prompted Japan’s weather agency to say it may issue a “special warning” for Kagoshima prefecture and other areas of Kyushu, the country’s southernmost main island, as early as Saturday evening. According to local media, it would be the first such alert for any prefecture north of the Okinawa island group.
In a televised press conference, JMA official Ryuta Kurora urged locals to leave the area before it becomes dark, warning that “unprecedented” storms and rainfall could hit the region. The agency predicted that southern Kyushu might receive 500 millimeters of rain on Sunday while central Tokai could receive 300 millimeters.
In preparation for greater suspensions on Sunday, Kyushu Railway Co (9142.T) started to suspend certain train routes on Saturday. According to broadcaster NHK, numerous weekend flights in the south have been canceled.
On Saturday afternoon, Nanmadol, the 14th typhoon of the season, was moving northwest at a speed of 20 kilometers (12 miles) per hour as it passed through southern Japan’s Minami-Daito Island. According to the JMA, the storm’s center is experiencing winds of 198 km/h (123 mph), with gusts as high as 270 kph. The storm, which is comparable in strength to an Atlantic Ocean class 5 hurricane, is expected to turn eastward and pass over Tokyo on Tuesday before dissipating into the sea by Wednesday.
As the storm neared, domestic stations displayed pictures of severe gusts and rain pelting Japan’s southern island chain of Okinawa.