THE ASAHI SHIMBUN
August 14, 2019 at 17:10 JST
Powerful Typhoon No. 10 has forced the cancellation of a string of events marking the end of World War II around Kyushu on Aug. 15.
It's also causing major grief for travelers trying to return to Tokyo and elsewhere after spending the Bon holidays in their hometowns.
The typhoon is forecast to inundate the Pacific side of the Shikoku and Kinki regions with heavy rain on Aug. 14-16 as it makes landfall on Shikoku on Aug. 15 on its way passing over western Japan, according to the Japan Meteorological Agency.
The storm is forecast to reach the Sea of Japan on the evening of Aug. 15.
The agency has issued precautions against landslides, low-lying flooding and strong winds, and urged the public to begin evacuating early before the typhoon strikes.
West Japan Railway Co. (JR West) announced on Aug. 14 it will suspend all bullet train service between Shin-Osaka and Kokura stations, as well as other train services in Okayama, Hiroshima and Yamaguchi prefectures, for Aug. 15.
On Aug. 15, the company plans to only run one bullet train or so per hour between Hakata and Kokura stations in Fukuoka Prefecture.
JR West said it will announce details of its service timetables for Aug. 16 and after on the afternoon of Aug. 15.
Central Japan Railway Co. (JR Tokai) will cancel 60 or so Shinkansen train services between Tokyo and Shin-Osaka stations on Aug. 15.
Things are also not looking up in regard to air travel. Many flights connecting Tokyo and Osaka from airports in Kyushu were canceled on Aug. 14.
The typhoon, which was downgraded to “strong” from “very strong” in the early hours of Aug. 14, was about 260 kilometers southeast of Tanegashima island in Kagoshima Prefecture as of noon on Aug. 14, veering northwest at about 15 kph.
It had a maximum wind speed of 144 kph and an atmospheric pressure of 965 hectopascals.
The southern part of Kyushu is forecast to become a storm area with wind speeds of 90 kph or more.
For the 24-hour period through noon on Aug. 15, rainfall of 900 millimeters are forecast for Shikoku, 600 mm for Tokai and 500 mm for the Kinki and Kyushu regions.
Rainfall for the following 24-hour period through noon on Aug. 16 is forecast to reach 600-800 mm for Tokai; 400-600 mm for Kinki and Shikoku; and 200-300 mm for the Kanto-Koshin, Hokuriku, Chugoku and northern Kyushu regions.
Though a slew of events were scheduled for Aug. 15 to mark the end of World War II, officials were forced to cancel them due to the storm.
The Miyazaki prefectural organization of bereaved families of the war dead called off an outdoor event commemorating the victims of the war in Miyazaki.
The organization also had to abandon its plan to send 53 representatives to the national memorial service for the war dead in Tokyo as their flight to the capital on Aug. 14 was canceled.
Emperor Naruhito, who ascended the throne in May, is scheduled to attend the event in Tokyo.
“It's extremely regrettable that we can't attend, since it will be the first service with the new emperor,” said the chief of the prefectural organization. “But safety is a top priority, and we will mourn the victims in our homes.”
All events in Tokushima featuring the Awa Odori dance festival on Aug. 14-15 were canceled due to the difficulty in ensuring public safety.
It will be the first time in 16 years that the events have been scrapped, the organizing committee said.
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