A person was confirmed dead in Japan on Monday after Typhoon Nanmadol hit the country, injuring dozens of people, but authorities scaled back warnings as the storm weakened after making landfall.
The storm system, which made landfall in Kagoshima in southern Kyushu on Sunday evening, was moving off the west coast of Japan on Monday afternoon.
Nearly six million people were still under evacuation warnings and authorities said in some areas “even a tiny amount of additional rainfall” could trigger flooding and landslides.
In Miyazaki Prefecture, some areas recorded more rainfall in 24 hours than they normally receive for the entire month of September.
A man in his 60s from the city of Miyakonojo has been found dead after being found in a submerged car on farmland, Miyazaki authorities told AFP.
In the western Fukuoka region, officials said they were investigating whether an additional death was related to the storm.
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, who was due to leave for the United Nations General Assembly on Monday, said he would delay his trip for a day to assess the damage.
But given the intensity of the storm, which landed with gusts of up to 234 kilometers (145 miles) per hour, the damage seemed relatively limited.
“The typhoon is almost gone today and the rain and wind are also subsiding,” an official in charge of crisis management in the city of Saito in Miyazaki told AFP.
– ‘I didn’t feel safe at home’ –
In Izumi City, Kagoshima Prefecture, 30-year-old Yasuta Yamaguchi spent the night at a local hotel to shelter from the storm.
“I came to the hotel for shelter because it was windy and I thought it was dangerous,” he told AFP.
“I didn’t feel safe at home.
As of Monday afternoon, more than 240,000 homes in Kyushu and the neighboring Chugoku region were without power, utilities said. Hundreds of flights have been canceled and many train services in the affected regions have also been interrupted.
As of 4:00 p.m. (0700 GMT), the typhoon was moving north-northeast off the coast of Shimane prefecture, western Japan, with peak gusts of around 162 kilometers per hour, according to the JMA. .
“The thick clouds and the eye area around the center of the typhoon have already disappeared and it is rapidly weakening,” Ryuta Kurora, head of the JMA forecast unit, told reporters.
Japan is currently in its typhoon season and faces about 20 such storms a year, regularly bringing heavy rains that cause landslides or flash floods.
In 2019, Typhoon Hagibis swept through Japan as it hosted the Rugby World Cup, claiming the lives of more than 100 people.
A year earlier, Typhoon Jebi shut down Kansai airport in Osaka and killed 14 people in its wake.
Scientists say climate change is increasing the severity of storms and making extreme weather events such as heat waves, droughts and flash floods more frequent and intense.