Authorities in southwestern Japan have called for more than 4 million residents to evacuate due to the approach of Typhoon Nanmadol, which is expected to make landfall today. Tens of thousands of residents fled to shelters.
The Japan Meteorological Agency has issued a rare “special warning” for the Kagoshima and Miyazaki prefectures of Kyushu Island. This warning is issued only when weather conditions are forecast that typically occur only once every several decades.
According to the Weather Service, there is a chance of “unparalleled” danger from high winds, storm surge and torrential rain. The Meteorological Service is warning of a record amount of rain, which could cause rivers to overflow and landslides.
The super typhoon is expected to make landfall Sunday evening (local time) and move northeast over Japan’s main island through Wednesday. Precipitation is likely to reach 500 mm in southern Kyushu. Wind gusts can reach 250 kilometers per hour.
This morning (local time) part of the country was already dealing with heavy rain and gale-force winds. In the cities of Kagoshima, Kumamoto, Nagasaki, and Miyazaki, about 100,000 residents were already without electricity. Trains, flights and ferries have been canceled and many stores, including supermarkets, have closed their doors.
“Please stay away from dangerous places and evacuate if you have any idea that you are in danger,” Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said on Twitter after emergency talks with his government. “It would be dangerous to evacuate at night. Please move to a safe place while the light is still out.”
Evacuation is not mandatory. In the past, Japanese authorities had great difficulty convincing residents to seek safe shelter in time during severe weather.
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