A typhoon with wind speeds of 220 kph is expected to make landfall near Tokyo in Japan. The typhoon equivalent of a category four hurricane was previously classified as a “super typhoon”, but was later downgraded to simply “typhoon”.
The typhoon “Hagibis” has threatened to wreak havoc in Japan, forcing travelers to change plans at the last minute. The nation is currently busy hosting tourists and athletes from around the world for the Rugby World Cup and Japan GP.
Formula 1 Japanese Grand Prix changed its schedule for the weekend, while two rugby World Cup matches were cancelled for Saturday.
Weathermen predict that Hagibis could bring the worst rains in 60 years disrupting transport and causing massive power cuts. Mudslides, flooding, swollen rivers and storm surges are expected forcing people to evacuate.
Japan’s national airlines are exercising caution. Flights departing and arriving from both Tokyo airports (Haneda and Narita) on October 12 have been canceled, affecting a total of at least 1187 flights and nearly 190,000 passengers.
Of that total, All Nippon Airways (ANA) canceled a total of 602 flights (490 domestic and 112 international), affecting 101,000 passengers.
Meanwhile, Japan Airlines (JAL) canceled a total of 585 flights (513 domestic, 72 international), affecting 88,000 passengers. JAL was informing travelers that the company “will not charge any handling fees for the changes or refunds resulting from the anticipated effects on operations caused by bad weather (typhoon, etc) or natural disasters.”
Rail companies are planning to cancel or reduce train operation through Saturday, October 12, with real-time updates on their websites and social media accounts. However, its expected that most train and subway service around Tokyo and central Japan will be halted from before noon Saturday.
About 400 bullet trains departing Tokyo and Osaka on October 12th remain cancelled.
Passengers are using taxi to get around to places, but most roads are set to remain closed during the landfall.