Super Typhoon Hagibis forces Japan to cancel hundreds of flights and trains

Super typhoon Hagibis strikes Japan

Japan, October 11, 2019 – The dangerous typhoon No.19, Hagibis, is currently in the Ogasawara Islands and moving north-northwest at 15 mph (25 kph). Authorities suspect it could make landfall around the Tokyo metropolitan area on Saturday.

Warnings of house collapsing have been issued by the Meteorological Agency due to strong winds of up to 135 mph (216kph).


Floods are also expected because Hagibis landfall is likely to coincide with high tides in Tokyo Bay.

Most powerful typhoon to hit Japan in decades

The massive size of Hagibis is one of the reasons why this super typhoon is so threatening. It has a diameter of almost half the length of the Japanese archipelago which is a precursor of bad news. Hagibis gigantic size means that storms begin earlier, affect bigger areas and last longer.

Strength

Hagibis is one of the most intense tropical systems of 2019 and the Japan Meteorological Agency expects the pressure to reach 950hPa on Saturday, the day that will near the Tokyo Greater area. If that is the strength with which the typhoon makes landfall in the region, this would be the most powerful phenomenon hit the area ever.

Timing

The timing of Hagibis landfall is really critical. Sea levels will be higher than usual this upcoming October weekend because of the full moon. That could result in storm surges and giant waves due to the high tide. The combination of all these factors increases the risk of flash coastal flooding exponentially.

Location

Just a few weeks ago, in early September of 2019, Typhoon Faxai hit the Greater Tokyo area with gusts of 207 kph in Chiba Prefecture. Hundreds of thousands of households had no electrical power for days, countless houses lost their roofs, many people were displaced and are still living in temporary shelters, and there was also a death count. Now, the region is about to be hit again by another meteorological event of devastating consequences such as super typhoon Hagibis. Although Japan is a typhoon-ready nation, there is so much devastation an area can take.

Thypoon n19 (Hagibis) forecast
Expected typhoon trajectory during this weekend – Image courtesy of Japan Meterological Agency

Flights and trains canceled

More than 900 flights have been canceled and train operators have warned of major disruptions as Japan braces for the powerful Hagibis, forecasted to pass close to eastern Honshu on Saturday.

The following is a rundown of how the typhoon is going to affect transport:

  • Japan Airlines Co. has canceled several flights on Friday. With the exception of a few early Saturday flights, both domestic and international flights are going to be canceled.
  • ANA Holdings Inc. has canceled all his domestic flights scheduled for Saturday and most of its international flights.
  • JR East has suspended all local train operations on Saturday.
  • East Japan Railway Co. (JR East), Central Japan Railway Co. (JR Central) and West Japan Railway Co. (JR West) are going to cancel most of their Saturday bullet train services.

Tokaido Shinkansen operation plan during Hagibis

The following is the operation plan of Tokaido Shinkansen for the weekend of October 12th and 13th, 2019.

The only trains that Tokaido Shinkansen is not going to suspend on Saturday are the following:

  • Between Nagoya to Shin-Osaka (Westbound), stops at all stations between Nagoya and Shin-Osaka:
    Nozomi 95 (Departing from Nagoya Station at 6:20, arriving at Shin-Osaka Station at 7:10, arriving at Hakata Station at 9:40).
    Hikari 491 (Departing from Nagoya Station at 6:35, arriving at Shin-Osaka Station at 7:33, arriving at Hakata at 10:11).
    Kodama 691 (Departing from Nagoya Station at 6:51, arriving at Shin-Osaka Station at 7:53).
  • Between Nagoya to Shin-Osaka (Eastbound), stops at all stations between Shin-Osaka and Nagoya:
    Nozomi 200 (Departing from Shin-Osaka Station at 6:00, arriving at Nagoya Station at 6:48).
    Hikari 504 (Departing from Shin-Osaka Station at 6:08, arriving at Nagoya Station at 7:17).
    Nozomi 100 (Departing from Nishi-Akashi Station at 6:00, Shin-Osaka Station at 6:23, arriving at Nagoya Station at 7:13).

Hagibis Cancels Two Rugby World Cup Games

Typhoon Hagibis, which has been downgraded to Category 4 on the five-step Saffir-Simpson scale, will also impact the Rugby World Cup 2019. The super typhoon has forced organizers to call off 2 games scheduled for Saturday.

The canceled games that are going to be considered scoreless draws are:

  • England vs France
  • New Zealand vs Italy

The final decision about whether to call off the very much anticipated match between Japan and Scotland is not going to be made until Sunday morning.

Safety During Typhoon Hagibis

If you are going to be in the area when Hagibis hits landfall, please make sure to follow the advice and evacuation orders of local authorities.

Ensure you have suitable shelter and do not venture outdoors. Remain well away from the sea.

You can find updated information and advice about this super typhoon on the Japan Meteorological Agency website as well as the Tropical Storm Risk website.

Useful information and resources

Meteorological information:

Airport traffic information:

Train status updates:

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