Japan’s fearsome super-typhoon: everything you need to know | Explanatory news



Typhoon Nanmadol has the potential to be the most destructive storm to hit Japan in decades.

Millions of people in southern Japan have been ordered to evacuate as a super typhoon hits the region.

Japan’s meteorological agency has issued a rare “special warning” for Typhoon Nanmado with level four evacuation instructions – the second highest – in place for residents of Kagoshima, Kumamoto and Miyazaki in the southern Kyushu region.

The typhoon made landfall on Sunday evening. Here is the last one:

What is a super typhoon?

  • Nanmadol has been classified as a super typhoon by the US Navy’s Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC), meaning it has the potential to be the most destructive tropical storm to hit Japan in decades.
  • The JTWC classifies typhoons into five categories using one-minute sustained winds to determine which category a storm falls into.
  • It designates tropical storms with sustained winds of 240 kilometers per hour (150 mph) or more as super typhoons. Such weather systems are the equivalent of a Category 4 or 5 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson scale.

How many people are affected?

  • Local authorities have ordered the evacuation of four million people living on the island of Kyushu.
  • In Kagoshima prefecture, more than 9,000 residents have taken refuge in evacuation centers.
  • In neighboring Miyazaki prefecture, another 4,700 people have been pulled away from the super typhoon.
NASA satellite image shows Typhoon Nanmadol approaching southwest Japan [File: AP Photo]

Which regions will be affected?

  • The Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) warned residents in the affected area of ​​flooding, landslides, as well as “unprecedented” levels of strong winds and waves, and urged them to evacuate early.
  • JMA said southern Kyushu could receive 400mm (16 inches) of rain over the next 24 hours and wind gusts of up to 235 km/h (145 mph) while the central Tokai region could receive 300 mm (12 inches) of rain.
  • Nanmadol is expected to turn east and reach Tokyo on Tuesday.
  • The typhoon will curve to the east and pass over Japan’s main island of Honshu before heading out to sea on Wednesday.
fishing boats
Fishing boats are moored at a harbor in Minamata, Kumamoto Prefecture [Yuichi Yamazaki/AFP]

How did the typhoon affect daily life?

  • Kyushu Electric Power Co said more than 93,000 homes across the island are without power due to damage to power lines and facilities.
  • Public transportation, including trains and buses, in Kagoshima and Miyazaki has been suspended.
  • Rail operators said high-speed trains on Kyushu were not running.
  • The 7-Eleven convenience store chain closed 950 outlets and Toyota Motor Corp said it would halt production at three plants.
  • Hundreds of domestic flights to and from the region have been canceled.
  • More flights are expected to be grounded in western Japan until Tuesday as the super-typhoon heads northeast, according to Japan Airlines and All Nippon Airways.

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