Hurricane "Hagibis" has raged across Japan's capital and surrounding regions with torrential rains. At least two people were killed. More than 80 were injured, four of them seriously. Nine people are missing according to local media reports.
Because of rainfall, which is among the worst around 60 years, the authorities for Tokyo and six other regions had issued the highest warning level for the first time. In total, more than three million inhabitants of the country should be brought to safety, ahead of "Hagibis" (Filipino for "fast"), which in Japanese simplicity is called Typhoon Number 19. In Tokyo, the Tamagawa River overflowed in the evening. Other rivers in the region swelled threateningly.
In places, there were landslides. A man in the province of Gumma died when his house was buried. Another was killed by a fallen truck in Tokyo's neighboring province of Chiba, where a typhoon raged in September and led to massive power cuts.
In the evening, the intensity of the cyclone was again downgraded from "very strong" to "strong".
No tsunami danger
The authorities had previously warned that the typhoon, with wind speeds of up to 216 kilometers per hour, could hit Tokyo and other areas of eastern Japan with the worst rains since that typhoon that cost more than 1,200 lives in 1958.
Judging by this, the inhabitants of the island kingdom came off this time according to first appearances. The exact extent of the damage, however, was initially unclear because of the darkness. The typhoon continued northbound during the night of Sunday.
Some streets were under water, dozens of houses in Greater Tokyo were partly severely damaged. The hurricane had hit land in the evening near the Izu peninsula near Tokyo. Shortly before, the metropolitan area of Tokyo was hit by a severe earthquake. However, the danger of a tsunami did not exist, as the National Meteorological Authority announced. Also, there were no reports of injuries as a result of the shock of magnitude 5.7.
this is so scary i cant imagine myself being in this situation, (more) ((please dont forget to put them in your prayers as they have been struck by so mangers in just one day. # PrayForJapan pic.twitter.com/xqpytwc0w0- solana (@ 2dorokis) October 12, 2019
Many department stores and stores in Tokyo and the surrounding area were closed on Saturday. In many shops in the capital, the shelves were largely empty, as many residents had stocked up with water and food. Streets and stations were deserted. Railway operators had timely announced traffic restrictions for the weekend in the west and east including Tokyo.
Hundreds of thousands of people without electricity in the meantime
The authorities warned early that houses could collapse in the strong squalls. As a precaution, some residents covered the roofs of their often lightweight houses with blue plastic tarpaulins. Some people stuck their windows out of fear that they would burst in the storm. Others barricaded them with boards.
Rescue operations became more difficult after dark. The local television showed scenes from Tokyo's neighboring town of Kawasaki, where a man was rescued from a flooded residential building. Firemen worked their way up to their hips in the water. In other places, forces had to bring people to safety.
Hundreds of thousands were cut off from the power supply in the meantime. Companies such as Toyota and Honda, the two major carmakers, left production in some of their factories to rest on the day. The Tokyo government ordered all relevant ministries to take necessary action to deal with the consequences of the typhoon.