Tropical storm Meari disrupts transportation in Izu peninsula

AFP
August 14, 2022

TOKYO: Tropical Storm Meari made landfall on central Japan's Izu Peninsula on Saturday, causing disruptions to transportation services during the peak summer holiday season.The weather agency warned...

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TOKYO: Tropical Storm Meari made landfall on central Japan's Izu Peninsula on Saturday, causing disruptions to transportation services during the peak summer holiday season.

The weather agency warned of potential landslides, flooding in low-lying areas, overflowing rivers, strong winds and high waves, especially in the Tokai region in central Japan, where the storm made landfall at about 5:30 p.m.

In the 24 hours to 6 p.m. Sunday, Meari was forecast to bring up to 150 millimeters of rain to the Tokai region and the Kanto-Koshin region, which includes Tokyo, and 100 mm to the Tohoku region in the northeast, the Meteorological Agency said.

According to the agency, thunderstorms and very strong rain were expected primarily on the Pacific coast, with some areas likely to be hit by torrential rain and some parts seeing more rain if linear rainbands develop.

Among the disruptions caused by the approaching storm on Saturday morning, Tokaido Shinkansen services were temporarily suspended between Shizuoka and Kakegawa after rainfall hit levels that required extra safety measures.

Some 11,800 people have been affected by flight cancellations after All Nippon Airways said it would not operate 108 flights, including those leaving Mt. Fuji Shizuoka Airport and Hachijojima Airport on Hachijo Island, south of Tokyo. Some planes leaving Tokyo's Haneda Airport in the evening were also affected.

In the city of Shizuoka, 72,000 people were told to evacuate due to heavy rain, with the local government later reporting that two locations had been hit by landslides, with one cutting off five residences.

"I'm worried about landslides, I can't relax," said 54-year-old Takuko Kurita, who evacuated to a local gymnasium in the city's Aoi district with members of her family.

The Chubu Electric Power Co. reported that as of around 12:25 p.m., some 1,200 households were without power in the city's Shimizu district, with about another 2,200 affected in municipalities including Kakegawa.

The city of Hamamatsu reported that an elderly male resident fell on the street and was bleeding from his forehead after strong winds knocked him down at about 12:40 p.m.

On the Shin-Tomei Expressway connecting Kanagawa and Aichi prefectures, traffic in both directions between the Shin-Shizuoka and Fujieda-Okabe toll gates was suspended. Nippon Professional Baseball postponed a pair of games in the Tokyo area while the J. League also postponed three matches set to be played in Tokyo and neighboring Kanagawa.

Peak gusts of up to 108 kilometers per hour were forecast for the Tohoku, Kanto and Tokai regions on Saturday, with swells and stormy conditions likely at sea.

At 3 p.m. on Saturday, the storm passed Omaezaki in Shizuoka Prefecture, heading northeast, the agency said. It was moving at 20 kph, with an atmospheric pressure of 998 hectopascals at its center and packing winds of up to 108 kph.



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