At least one dead as Typhoon Hagibis approaches Japan

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Japan’s Meteorological Agency (JMA) issued the highest warning on Saturday, an “Emergency Weather Warning (Level 5),” as it left one person dead and several injured.

The warning was issued for towns and cities in seven prefectures including Tokyo Saitama, Kanagawa, Gunma, Yamanashi, Nagano and Shizuoka.

“It is a level 5 situation; some sort of disaster may have already taken place. People are strongly advised to act to protect their lives right away,” said JMA weather forecaster, Yasushi Kajiwara.

Hagibis is due to make landfall around 6 p.m. local on the Izu Peninsula Saturday and reach Tokyo around 9 p.m.

The storm had weakened as it approached Japan but still remains highly dangerous, with maximum winds of up to 195 kilometers per hour (122 mph) — equivalent to a Category 3 Atlantic hurricane.

Up to 200 millimeters (8 inches) of rainfall is also predicted to cause flooding.

The remaining stock in a supermarket after people prepare for Typhoon Hagibis on October 12, 2019 in Yokohama, Japan.

Evacuation advisories have been issued throughout much of the Tokyo region, affecting tens of millions of people. The Japanese capital is in lockdown, with usually busy streets abandoned amid torrential rain.

Meanwhile, at least eight cities and towns have ordered evacuations totaling 140,000 people and 292,770 households are without power, according to Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) and Chub Electric Power Company.

All flights to and from Tokyo and nearby airports have been canceled until at least Sunday morning. All bullet trains between Tokyo, Nagoya and Osaka are also canceled, as are most non high-speed trains.

Local police said a 49-year-old man in Ichihara City, Chiba prefecture, was killed when a tornado flipped his car Saturday morning.

At least five other people, including three children, where injured as the tornado swept through the city, which lies around 30 kilometers (18 miles) southeast of Tokyo, fire authorities said.

Rugby chaos

Typhoon Hagibis, one of the worst storms to hit Japan this year, comes as the country hosts the Rugby World Cup.

Two matches, England-France and New Zealand-Italy, were preemptively canceled due to the storm, and World Cup authorities said they were evaluating whether additional matches Sunday would need to be called off.

While authorities made clear that the decision to cancel games was necessary to ensure the safety of players and fans, many were critical of the tournament’s inability to reschedule games and apparent unpreparedness for the extreme weather — despite the World Cup being held during typhoon season.

In canceled games, two points will be awarded to each team, in line with tournament rules. This could have an effect on who qualifies for the next round of the competition, particularly in Pool B, which includes hosts Japan.

While Ireland’s Pool B match against Samoa will go ahead Saturday in Fukuoka prefecture, no decision has been made around Japan and Scotland’s crunch match on Sunday, due to take place in Yokohama, a city south of Tokyo which lies in Hagibis’ path.

A win for Scotland would see it draw level on points with Japan, after which bonus points — awarded for scoring four or more tries or losing within seven points — would come into play to decide who reaches the quarterfinals.

A cancellation — and a draw — would see Japan qualify in second place and face New Zealand in the quarters. Ireland would top the group and face South Africa in the final eight if, as expected, it defeats Samoa. If the match goes ahead and Japan wins, it could take the theoretically easier game against the Springboks and leave Ireland to face the All Blacks.

Meanwhile, all activities scheduled for the Japanese Grand Prix were canceled Saturday, according to Formula One. Efforts are underway to ensure the race proceeds Sunday if the weather improves.

Yoko Wakatsuki and Chie Kobayashi reported from Tokyo, Japan. Carly Walsh reported from Hong Kong. CNN’s James Griffiths wrote from Hong Kong.

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