Japan braces for powerful Typhoon Lionrock
Japan braced Monday for a powerful typhoon — the third in little more than a week — and authorities warned of heavy rain, high waves and flooding after the previous storms killed two people.
Typhoon Lionrock, described as “strong”, was likely to come ashore northeast of Tokyo on Tuesday before cutting across the country’s main island of Honshu and heading out to sea towards Russia and China, the Japan Meteorological Agency said.[restrict]
At 3:00 pm (0600 GMT) Monday, Lionrock was 330 kilometres (210 miles) east of Hachijo island in the Pacific Ocean southeast of Tokyo, the agency said.
The typhoon, with gusts up to 216 kilometres (135 miles) per hour, was moving northeast at 25 kilometres per hour, the agency said, and was likely to make landfall in northeast Japan on Tuesday afternoon or evening.
“The most significant factor will be heavy rain,” agency chief forecaster Tsumoru Matsumoto told a press briefing.
“In advance of the typhoon’s approach, we expect heavy rain in wide areas in eastern and northern Japan.”
Authorities have also issued warnings for high waves, strong winds and flooding for the area, saying that those could be upgraded Tuesday.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who attended a weekend Africa aid conference in Nairobi, left Kenya hours earlier than planned to get back before the storm hits.
Lionrock comes on the heels of two typhoons that hit Japan in the past eight days and resulted in two deaths.
The storms also caused the cancellation of hundreds of domestic flights, while train services were also disrupted.
The agency attributed the unusual number of typhoons approaching Japan in such a short period to a high-pressure system in the Pacific east of Japan. [/restrict]