Japan, Typhoon Hagibis: One of the strongest in Japan’s history

Typhoon Hagibis made landfall on Saturday evening (12 October) local time on the Izu Peninsula, southwest of Tokyo. It dumped an incredible amount of rain over a large area in central and northern Japan causing major flooding in low-lying areas.

Published 3 years ago

satellite view of the typhoon with swirling cloud mass over japan
From JMA website – https://www.jma.go.jp

The second typhoon in just one month and probably the strongest to ever hit the Tokyo area, Hagibis left approximately 75 people dead, 15 missing, over 100 injured and about 5,000 living in emergency shelters. Typhoons rarely make a direct hit on Tokyo, usually landing further west and south in Japan.

The main destruction caused by Hagibis was the result of the heavy rains causing the rivers to overflow and levees to break. One tornado also touched down NE of Tokyo, throwing cars 50 meters and causing at least one death.

Winds, however, were not as strong as initially feared and there was no major damage to the yachting infrastructure. Reports from the two major marinas (Bayside and Yumenoshima) in Tokyo Bay indicate only minor damage.

This likely reflects three things:
(1) a typhoon that hit the area a month earlier was a much bigger wind event, causing more significant marina damage and more serious damage to more boats (including quite a few sinkings) — that may have “encouraged” marinas and boat owners to make better preparations for Hagibis;
(2) the government and media went to great lengths to warn people about the approaching typhoon (perhaps in reaction to under-estimating the last one); and
(3) although the wind was considerably stronger than during the last typhoon, the angle was such that it didn’t cause as much damage.

Marinas outside of Tokyo Bay reported only minor damage to their facilities and boats (a few dismastings, some torn sails, and some scrapes).

One marina (Seabornia), however, did suffer serious damage as massive waves broke over the high sea wall and destroyed its restaurant, and some of its boats were damaged.

Noonsite’s contact in Japan, Kirk Patterson of Konpira Consulting, comments; “It is very unusual (probably record-breaking) to have two typhoons make a direct hit on Tokyo in one season. Most typhoons hit southern Japan and then gradually weaken as they move north, passing either to the west or east of Tokyo, so Tokyo only gets a direct hit about once a decade or two.

“In my 25 years of living there I can only remember one typhoon, so two within a month is really unusual, and almost certainly a result of climate change – the southern ocean is much warmer than in the past, so the typhoons form earlier, are stronger, head north sooner, and last longer.”

Our thanks to Kirk for helping with research for this news report.

Further Reading:

Why did Typhoon Hagibis shatter Japan’s rainfall records

Scenes From the Aftermath of Typhoon Hagibis in Japan

Related to following destinations: , , ,

Related to the following Cruising Resources: ,

You must Login or Register to submit comments.