Tokyo, Aug 15: Japan's weather agency said Typhoon Krosa made landfall near Kure City in Hiroshima Prefecture on Thursday. The typhoon has already caused at least 16 injuries across eight prefectures in Japan, with evacuation advisories in Kochi, Japanese news agency Shikoku and Kyushu reported. A level-4 advisory alert, the second highest on the scale which peaks at 5, has been issued for more than 240,000 households, or about 510,000 residents, according to the most recent reports.
This alert level means that residents are advised to quickly evacuate to safer ground due to the severity of the storm and the likelihood of potentially fatal accompanying weather-related phenomena. According to the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA), Krosa has an atmospheric pressure of 975 hectopascals at its center and was packing winds of up to 144 kg per hour. It was traveling to the north at a speed of 30 kph from around 50 km off Iwakuni, Yamaguchi Prefecture, as of 0400 hrs (GMT), the weather agency said.
Krosa, the 10th typhoon of the season, will now likely cut a path through western Japan on Thursday. While the agency said the typhoon has weakened over the past few days, they have forecasted downpours of over 1,200 mm and violent winds in some eastern and western regions, particularly those that face the Pacific Ocean. In terms of specific rainfall forecast for the 24 hours through noon on Friday, the JMA said downpours are expected to reach 500 mm of rain in Kinki and Shikoku, 400 mm in Tokai and 300 mm in the Hokuriku and Kanto-Koshin.
The JMA earlier warned that Typhoon Krosa may cause landslides, particular in the prefectures of Nara, Oita, Ehime and Tokushima. Krosa has already severely affected the transportation systems, with 720 domestic flights cancelled on Thursday. More flights may be cancelled henceforth, some carriers said, depending on the typhoon's trajectory. West Japan Railway Co. announced Wednesday it would suspend the majority of its Shinkansen bullet train services on Thursday, which will likely affect throngs of people heading home after the Bon holiday period.
Sanyo Shinkansen services between Shin-Osaka in Osaka and Kokura in Fukuoka Prefecture have been cancelled for the entire day on Thursday and services between Kokura and Hakata have been reduced to about one train per hour, according to the latest reports. Shinkansen services between Tokyo and Shin-Osaka will also be operating at a limited service, Central Japan Railway Co. said, and Kyushu Railway Co. has announced it will reduce the number of its super-express bullet train services on Thursday.
Shikoku Railway Co. will completely halt operations on the western main island on Thursday, it said. Among other local lines, services in Okayama, Hiroshima and Yamaguchi prefectures will also be cancelled on Thursday, the railway operator said. In a valley in Kusu, Oita Prefecture, a group of 18 people including children were rescued Thursday morning after being stranded the previous day following a river swelling to dangerous levels, local media reported. The weather agency has warned people to stay alert for severe gusts of winds, torrential downpours, bursting rivers, floods, mudslides, as well as storm surges and possible lightning strikes. UNI