Travel Alert - Japan - Typhoon Trami

2 Oct 2018

Trami has weakened into a tropical storm after crossing Honshu overnight Sept. 30-Oct. 1. As of 1250 JST Oct. 1, the system centre of circulation was in the Pacific Ocean, approximately 300 km (186 miles) east of Kushiro, Hokkaido. Forecast models indicate that Trami will continue to weaken, transitioning into an extratropical low late Oct. 1, after interacting with cool waters. The storm has killed at least two people and injured at least 120 others, though the casualty count is likely to rise.

Analysis: Despite weakening, the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) is maintaining severe weather warnings and advisories for gale-force winds, heavy rain, high waves, storm surge, flooding, landslides, and thunderstorms in eastern Honshu and Hokkaido. Advisories for gale-force winds, high waves, or rainfall remain in effect for most prefectures in the country. Some areas of Kyushu, Shikoku, and Honshu may still be highly susceptible to rain-induced hazards, even though the storm's immediate threat has diminished. Authorities will likely issue updates to active advisories as Trami moves further away from the country.

Hazardous Weather
Although Trami is set to move quickly through the region, rainfall accumulations of over 15 cm (6 inches) are possible across most of Kyushu, Shikoku, and Honshu through at least Oct. 1. This heavy rain has the potential to cause life-threatening flash and areal flooding in low-lying communities near creeks, rivers, streams, or other bodies of water. Urban flooding is also a concern in areas with easily overwhelmed stormwater drainage systems. Sites downstream of large reservoirs or rivers may be subject to flooding after relatively short periods of intense rainfall. Coastal flooding may occur during significant storm surges. Rain-induced landslides pose an additional threat in hilly or mountainous locations.

Transport and Utilities
Flooding and landslides can trigger significant business, transport, and utility disruptions in affected areas. Floodwaters and debris flows may render bridges or roadways impassable, while strong winds could down trees and spread debris that damage infrastructure (including power lines) or impede access to important thoroughfares.

High winds produced by Typhoon Trami have triggered widespread disruptions to domestic and international flights in Japan, including at airports serving Kochi (KCZ), Nagasaki (NGS), Osaka (ITM, KIX), Tokyo (HND, NRT), and Sendai (SDJ). Though most airports are expected to resume normal operations after Oct. 1, lingering disruptions are likely.

The East Japan Railway Company (JR-East), Central Japan Railway Company (JR-Central), and West Japan Railway Company (JR-West) all temporarily suspended train services across several networks through at least early Oct. 2. Though some services have resumed, significant delays are occurring along rail lines across Honshu. Ferry services and port operations in areas near the storm's path, including those serving Tokyo, will likely remain suspended until sea conditions have stabilised.

Anticipate significant business disruptions in areas affected by severe inclement weather - authorities may order the temporary closure of local enterprises, schools, and non-essential government services in the event of hazardous conditions. In addition to government-mandated closures, utility disruptions may also impact business operations. As of the morning of Oct. 1, more than 400,000 people were without electricity, primarily in eastern Honshu. Efforts to restore electricity to affected areas are ongoing, but additional power outages remain possible.

Disruptions triggered by inclement weather and resultant hazards, such as flooding, could persist well after conditions have improved. If there is severe damage to infrastructure, repair or reconstruction efforts may exacerbate residual disruptions.

Ryukyu Islands
Residual business, transport, and utility disruptions continue in parts of the Ryukyu islands. In addition to leaving at least 40 people injured in Okinawa, hazardous winds and heavy rainfall produced by Typhoon Trami caused significant infrastructural damage Sept. 28-29. It may take some time for floodwaters in affected areas to recede and for clean-up operations to conclude. The impact of another tropical system, Typhoon Kong-Rey, around Oct. 5 may also exacerbate recovery efforts in the central and southern Ryukyu Islands.

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