Typhoon Nanmadol hits Japan

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Since making landfall in southern Japan as the equivalent of a powerful Category 2 hurricane, deadly Typhoon Nanmadol has weakened – although it packed a punch on Monday, bringing heavy rain and gusty winds over a wide expanse of Japanese islands.

The storm has killed at least two people since hitting Japan’s Kagoshima prefecture, according to Reuters reports. A man was found dead in a car on a flooded farm, while another man died when his cottage was hit by a landslide.

At least one person is missing and dozens of other storm-related injuries have been reported, according to Reuters.

The storm made landfall Sunday evening local time with a central pressure of 935 millibars, making it the fourth most powerful typhoon on record to make landfall in Japan, with historical records dating back to 1951. It made landfall with winds of around 110 miles per hour .

As Nanmadol approached the Japanese coast, photographers captured intense photos of massive waves crashing on the shore. Before the storm, more than 8 million people in southern and western Japan were told to evacuate their homes. Experts have warned the storm could become one of the most destructive typhoons in decades to hit Japan.

While the worst damage and storm surge scenario could have been avoided, the storm still dumped a massive amount of precipitation in Japan, with plenty of rain still to come in some places.

The heaviest rainfall totals were reserved for the southern main island of Kyushu, where observations showed five separate weather stations captured more than half a meter (19.69 inches) of rain in 24 hours on Sunday. , according to reports from weather blog Eye on the Storm.

According to Japanese broadcaster NHK, about 1,000 millimeters of precipitation – more than 39 inches – has fallen since Thursday in the city of Misato, Miyazaki Prefecture, more than double the city’s average for the month of September.

Widespread heavy rains poured into rivers and roads, causing landslides and making travel dangerous.

Some flood videos shared on social media show dramatic scenes of residential streets turning into raging muddy rivers. Another one intense video shows the normally pristine Miyagawa almost overflowing its banks, with water rushing violently downstream.

US-run military bases in southern Japan appear to have escaped significant damage. At Sasebo Naval Base in Nagasaki Prefecture, wind speeds reached around 64 mph and more than 6 inches of rain fell, but no significant damage was reported, according to Stars and Stripes reports.

“We’ve completed our damage reports and it’s the usual downed trees, a few bent fence posts, just some minor damage to the base,” Sasebo spokesman Aki Nichols told the military newspaper. “Nothing critical for the mission.”

Wind gusts from the storm had a widespread impact, with more than 300,000 homes without power, according to CNN information. Japan’s meteorological agency said the typhoon was carrying wind gusts of up to 168 mph near the remote island of Minami Daito, southeast of Okinawa.

Wind and rain caused a disastrous travel day in Japan, with hundreds of flights canceled and high-speed train services suspended in affected parts of the country, according to the Japan Times.

Heavy rain warnings and advisories were in effect Monday for much of Japan, with several inches to several feet of rain in places expected to cause further landslides and flooding. Storm surge warnings also remained in effect for several Japanese prefectures along the Sea of ​​Japan, also known as the East Sea, including Ishikawa and Hyogo.

In Tokyo, the worst of the storm was expected to arrive on Tuesday. Rainfall rates of about 2 inches per hour were forecast, with up to about 6 inches of rain expected by the time the storm leaves the area.

Forecasts from the Japan Meteorological Agency on Monday showed the storm swirling just off Tottori prefecture in the Sea of ​​Japan. Nanmadol’s sustained winds had dropped to 63 mph. The storm was not expected to strengthen again before making landfall as an even weaker storm over mainland Japan – although heavy rain was still expected.

After making final landfall in Niigata Prefecture on Tuesday as a tropical storm, it is expected to leave the Japanese mainland and cross the Pacific Ocean by Tuesday evening.

Nanmadol is the 14th typhoon of the season in the Pacific. Japan is in the middle of its typhoon season, which regularly brings more than a dozen storms a year to the country. Storms can form at any time of the year, but storm formation peaks from July to October.

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