Japan braces for latest weather event with strong typhoon due

Parts of country already reeling after deadly floods and heatwave left hundreds dead

Workers conduct repair work on a destroyed embankment along Odagawa river in Mabi town in Kurashiki, Okayama Prefecture, Japan. A typhoon is set to add to the problems posed by recent weather events in the country. Photograph: Issei Kato/Reuters.

Workers conduct repair work on a destroyed embankment along Odagawa river in Mabi town in Kurashiki, Okayama Prefecture, Japan. A typhoon is set to add to the problems posed by recent weather events in the country. Photograph: Issei Kato/Reuters.

 

More than 100 flights were cancelled in Japan and residents already reeling from deadly floods sand-bagged rivers and prepared for more evacuations as a powerful typhoon neared on Saturday.

Typhoon Jongdari, meaning “skylark” in Korean, was expected to make landfall late Saturday or early Sunday.

The typhoon will bring heavy rain across the main island of Honshu, with up to 400mm expected in the region around Tokyo in the 24 hours to noon on Sunday,the Japan Meteorological Agency said.

Regions in western Japan ravaged by floods and landslides that killed more than 200 people earlier this month are likely to be hit by downpours and the agency called on residents to be ready for the possibility of local authorities recommending evacuation.

In Mabi, one of the hardest hit in Japan’s worst natural disaster in 36 years, workers used heavy machinery to build sand bag banks along a river in case torrential rain caused more flooding.

Japan Airlines said it had cancelled 107 flights leaving and arriving at Haneda in Tokyo and other airports.

A raft of summer festivals were cancelled or postponed in the Tokyo area, including the famed Sumidagawa river fireworks festival scheduled for Saturday night.

July has seen Japan hit by one weather disaster after another, including a record-breaking heatwave that saw temperatures surge to 41.1 degrees near Tokyo on Monday and has killed at least 80 people, with more than 20,000 taken to hospital for treatment. - Reuters