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19 dead, 16 missing, over 140 injured after Typhoon Hagibis hits Japan

Typhoon Hagibis

Typhoon Hagibis, the strongest cyclone that hit Japan since 1958 made landfall just before 7 p.m. local time on the Izu Peninsula, southwest of Tokyo Saturday evening.

At least 19 people died while 16 remain missing as hurricane-strong winds swept through Japan, including the Tokyo metropolitan area. More than 140 people were reported to be hurt across the nation, according to the latest tally of Japan's Fire Disaster and Management Agency.

A shinkansen rail yard in Nagano partially submerged due to flooding caused by Typhoon Hagibis. | Japantimes

One of the most badly hit areas is the central Japan city of Nagano after the bank of the Chikuma River collapsed. A massive flood submerged residential houses with waters as deep as 5 meters.

The Japanese Meteorological Agency (JMA) issued its highest warning scale (Emergency Weather Warning Level 5) for Tokyo and the prefectures of Gunma, Saitama, Kanagawa, Yamanashi, Nagano, Shizuoka, Niigata, Fukushima, Tochigi, Ibaraki, Miyagi and Iwate.

At least 33 landslides and mudflows were reported in nine prefectures. In Ichihara, Chiba Prefecture, a tornado damaged more than 70 houses.

To avoid the flash floods and dam bursting, some dam operators already authorized water releases. While this was done as an emergency measure, it could further raise the amount of water to nearby rivers that are already overflowing.

Meanwhile, Tokyo's Haneda airport and most shinkansen bullet train services have already resumed operations from Sunday morning. Although many flights to and from Haneda continue to be canceled.

JMA continues to warn the public to be mindful but remain calm. JMA weather forecaster, Yasushi Kajiwara said, “People are strongly advised to act to protect their lives right away.”

While the storm has weakened it still remains to be highly dangerous. The maximum winds recorded is up to 195 kilometers per hour (122 mph) — equivalent to a Category 3 Atlantic hurricane.

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