Precautions taken as ‘super’ Typhoon Hagibis threatens Japan

Typhoon path. Credit: Japan Meteorological Agency

Countermeasures are being taken around Japanese waters as the alarming Typhoon Hagibis is set to hit the main island, Honshu, on 12 October 2019.

International naval ships taking part in the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) international fleet review in Sagami Bay, south of Kanagawa prefecture, are taking steps to minimise damage and prevent injuries.

For example, the US Navy is installing storm brows, repositioning shore power cables, and removing all portable items off the piers.

The JMSDF, which is organising the review, said it will observe the situation to decide if the review should still proceed.

Silversea Cruises adjusted its itinerary to sail north of Japan.

The company’s ship, Silver Muse, due to depart Tokyo on 11 October on a 14-night round-trip cruise, will sail north of Japan to avoid the typhoon, with calls in Osaka, Aburatsu, and Nagasaki cancelled.

The ship will head straight to the northern island of Hokkaido, reaching Hakodate on 13 October, and then sailing back to the main island of Honshu, arriving in Maizuru on 15 October.  The ship will resume its original route from 16 October.

Typhoon Hagibis is the 24th typhoon of the 2019 typhoon season, but authorities have greater concerns because it is the strongest storm of the season.

Rising temperatures and low wind shear over the Pacific Ocean enabled Typhoon Hagibis to rapidly intensify, after forming on 2 October, becoming a super typhoon on 7 October. Wind speeds have been gauged at up to 435 km/h.

Damage resulting from Typhoon Hagibis is expected to be worse than that caused by Typhoon Faxai, which lashed Tokyo Bay last month, causing multiple ship collisions.