The authorities warned of record-breaking winds and rainfall from Typhoon Haishen, which has already brought down power lines and disrupted travel in the region.
By Ben Dooley and Makiko Inoue |
TOKYO — Japanese authorities on Sunday ordered more than a million residents of western Japan to seek shelter as a major storm lashed the coast with high winds and threatened record-breaking flooding.
Typhoon Haishen sat off the coast of the western island of Kyushu gathering power and creating chaos in the region, where it knocked down power lines and disrupted flights and trains.
Local officials ordered 1.8 million people to evacuate seven prefectures across the region and recommended that 5.6 million others across 10 prefectures seek shelter ahead of the storm, which was expected to pass by Japan without making landfall and head toward South Korea.
The Japan Meteorological Agency issued its highest-level warning for the storm, cautioning that it would bring record-high tides and that residents should be prepared for “large-scale flooding.”
“High tides combined with large waves could top coastal sea walls and inundate a wide area,” it said in a statement on its website Sunday afternoon.
Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe warned residents to listen to local authorities and “take immediate action to protect your life,” adding that the country’s Self-Defense Forces were prepared to offer aid in the event of widespread damage.