Typhoon Wipha Japan, is headed toward the eastern coast of Japan near Tokyo and is expected to make landfall around the Wednesday morning rush hour.
The Japan Meteorological Agency called the super typhoon a “once in a decade event”, and issued warnings for Tokyo of heavy rain, flooding, and gales, and advised people to be ready to leave their homes quickly and to avoid unnecessary travel.
The area of greatest concern extends across eastern Honshu, including the greater Tokyo area where over 35 million people live, according to a Reuters report.
Accuweather reported that rainfall totals between 150-250 mm (6-10 inches) are expected by midday Wednesday, with winds gusts surpassing 120 kph (75 mph).
The depression strengthened to a tropical storm that day, receiving the name Typhoon Wipha Japan at the time, and reached typhoon status on October 12.
Now moving northwestward, typhoon Wipha grew into a very large system and ultimately attained its peak intensity on October 14 with winds of 165 km/h (105 mph) and an atmospheric pressure of 930 mbar.
Accelerating and turning more northerly, the typhoon weakened as conditions became less conducive for tropical cyclones. Wipha dramatically accelerated northeastward on October 15 as it interacted with a stalled out front over Japan.
Simultaneously, the storm began transitioning into an extra tropical cyclone, a process which it completed early on October 16. It is said that the storm caused over 100 million dollars of damage.
Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), the main electricity supplier in Tokyo and central Japan, said blackouts affected more than 56,000 households.
TEPCO, which has been struggling to deal with a series of leaks at its Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, said workers at the plant were “on vigil” and accumulated rainwater had been released from storage tanks.
The “Typhoon Wipha Japan” is the eighth typhoo of the year, according to the Japan Meteorological Agency. IMAGE/AP