UPDATE: Japan - Tropical Storm Jebi

5 Sep 2018

Typhoon Jebi has weakened to a tropical storm early Sept. 5 as it tracks northward in the Sea of Japan after having made landfall on eastern Shikoku Island the afternoon of Sept. 4. The most powerful tropical system to make landfall in Japan's main islands since 1993, the storm has prompted severe transport and business disruptions on Shikoku Island, and in the Kansai Region and nearby areas. Severe weather brought by Jebi has killed at least seven people and injured over 200 others. The system will likely continue to impact northern Honshu and Hokkaido through at least Sept. 5. Tropical Storm Jebi is forecast to make a second landfall in the northern part of Russia's Primorsky Krai, early Sept. 5. 

As of early Sept. 5, the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) has maintained warnings for heavy rainfall in nearly every prefecture on Honshu from the Kansai Region northward, as well as all prefectures on Hokkaido. Authorities have advised the evacuation of over 1 million residents in threatened communities, including coastal areas of prefectures on the Kii Peninsula and eastern Shikoku. Russian officials have issued warnings for severe weather in parts of Far Eastern Russia. Authorities are likely to extend, expand, or rescind warnings as conditions warrant. 

Hazardous Conditions 
Jebi continues to bring heavy rainfall and strong winds to central Honshu as of early Sept. 5. Current forecast models indicate that the highest rainfall totals may occur in central Honshu, where rainfall totals of up to 40 cm (15 inches) are possible in mountain areas. Lesser accumulations will occur in southern and northern Honshu, Kyushu, Hokkaido, and parts of Far Eastern Russia. 

Although the system has been moving quickly through the affected region, flash flooding has occurred in some areas. Urban flooding has occurred in parts of the Kansai Region, including at Kansai International Airport (KIX). Many watercourses in central and northern Japan are already running high, and additional rainfall could result in flooding in low-lying communities near creeks, rivers, streams, and other bodies of water. Rain-induced landslides pose an additional threat in hilly or mountainous locations. 

Typhoon-force winds of up to 208 kph (129 mph) were reported in coastal areas when Jebi made landfall Sept. 4. Strong winds have caused structural damage, large vehicle rollovers, and even building collapses in some areas. As of late Sept. 4, at least 1.7 million homes were without power in parts of Shikoku and central Honshu. Although the system has weakened significantly, powerful winds could prompt additional power outages and damage in some areas. 

Authorities closed both runways at Kansai International Airport (KIX) the afternoon of Sept. 4 due to flooding. Strong winds caused a tanker to crash into the bridge connecting KIX to Honshu, causing the closure of both road traffic and trains to the airport. KIX may remain closed for days, as authorities inspect damage and conduct necessary repairs. As of early Sept. 5, authorities were arranging boats to evacuate thousands of stranded passengers at the airport. Hundreds of flight delays and cancellations occurred at other airports in central Honshu; disruptions at regional airports are possible in northern Honshu and Hokkaido through at least Sept. 5. 

Flooding has rendered some bridges or roadways impassable, impacting ground travel in and around the affected areas. Road disruptions have been concentrated in mountainous areas. Many scheduled train services in Shikoku and the Kansai Region were canceled Sept. 4; resultant train disruptions have occurred throughout Honshu, including Tokyo. Hazardous sea conditions have prompted the suspension of ferry services and port operations in several areas, most notably in Osaka Bay. Additional ground and sea transport disruptions may occur throughout the affected area. 

Disruptions triggered by inclement weather and resultant hazards, such as flooding, could persist well after conditions have improved. Repair and reconstruction efforts may exacerbate residual disruptions. 

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