Tuesday, 12th August 2014
In Weather In Japan,
Typhoon grounds Japan flights
Typhoon Halong arrived in southwest Japan this weekend, and made its presence known by lashing the landmass with winds of up to 198 kilometres per hour that saw some 460 flights cancelled.
Thousands of holidaymakers were stranded and unable to make their way home, with the storm coming at a particularly unfortunate time as Japanese people are currently celebrating their Obon summer holiday.
A time to remember ancestors and deceased relatives, many people travel to be with their families during this essential time in Japan's calendar.
Some 70 centimetres of rain was dropped on the southwest island of Shikoku over the weekend, which had already suffered enormous downpours from another typhoon the previous week.
The Japan Meteorological Agency warned of landslides and floods across western Japan, while local authorities in Tokushima in Shikoku issued an order that saw 44,100 residents evacuated.
Around 30 people have so far been injured and at least one killed by Typhoon Halong - which caused substantial damage as it tore through the Miyazaki prefecture in particular - and half a million citizens living near swollen rivers have been evacuated for their own safety.
However, the worse might not be over, with a further warning issued by the meteorological agency that the typhoon could bring misery and disruption to central Japan.
"Please remain on the alert against a rise of rivers, floods as well as damage from landslides in Mie prefecture," it said, on its website.
If travelling to Japan for the Obon festival, be advised that the shinkansen (bullet trains) and flights are likely to be extremely busy, with a holiday period and a disruptive typhoon to take into account.
Experts are also warning visitors that they must follow evacuation orders from local authorities without delay, and imploring them not to do anything that might put their lives at risk as the typhoon makes its way into eastern Japan.
Related news stories:
Typhoon Vongfong heads to Japan, tourists on alert (9th October 2014)
Hamamatsu residents evacuate amid fears Typhoon Etau could make landfall (8th September 2015)
Typhoon Malakas makes landfall in southern Japan (20th September 2016)
Fukushima nuclear plant omitted by typhoon (22nd September 2011)