The southern island of Kyushu has been hit by one of the strongest typhoons to ever hit Japan. Wind speeds of at least 180 km/h (112 mph) have been delivered by Typhoon Nanmadol, and certain places may get 500 mm (20 inches) of rain during today and tonight. At least four million individuals have received an order to leave their houses. Numerous landslides and significant flooding are anticipated, and hundreds of flights, ferries, and bullet train services have been canceled. On the southernmost tip of Kyushu, the typhoon made landfall this morning close to the city of Kagoshima.
With a population of more than 13 million, Kyushu is the southernmost of the four islands that make up the main body of Japan. The island was the first location outside of Okinawa Prefecture to receive a “special alert” from authorities, according to the Japan Times. Okinawa Prefecture is made up of smaller, more isolated Japanese islands in the East China Sea. According to Japan’s Meteorological Agency, Nanmadol will bring strong winds, storm surges along the coast, and torrential rain. Homes may also be at risk of collapsing. The typhoon is currently heading north through Kyushu, dumping copious amounts of rain on the island’s central mountainous region.
Over the next few days, it is anticipated to meander up through central Japan toward Tokyo, keeping much of its strength. Rain is the largest danger to people and property because it is already raising rivers and triggering mudslides and land disasters. Authorities have ordered people across Kyushu to seek safety in shelters. The greatest typhoon to reach Japan this season, Nanmadol is the 14th in the Pacific.
An official from Japan’s meteorological service stated on Saturday that it might be worse than both Typhoon Jebi in 2018, which claimed 14 lives, and Typhoon Hagibis in 2019, which caused significant power outages. Although the nation is well-equipped to handle such storms, scientists claim that climate change is increasing their size and destructiveness.