Train operators, airlines to suspend services as typhoon on course to strike eastern Japan

A powerful typhoon is on course to strike Tokyo and other areas of eastern Japan this weekend, the weather agency warned Friday, as train operators announced plans to suspend many services in the metropolitan area.
Typhoon Hagibis is expected to approach the region from Friday evening and make landfall Saturday, before passing east of Hokkaido in northern Japan on Sunday afternoon, according to the Japan Meteorological Agency.
Shinkansen services between Tokyo and Nagoya will be canceled throughout Saturday, while those between Nagoya and Shin-Osaka stations will be limited to six.
East Japan Railway Co said it will gradually suspend train services in the Tokyo metropolitan area from around 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday.
All Nippon Airways Co said it will cancel most of its flights to and from Haneda and Narita airports on Saturday, with some exceptions in the early morning and late at night.
Japan Airlines Co has also decided to cancel most of its flights apart from those in the early hours.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe instructed cabinet members to take necessary measures to deal with the typhoon, the season's 19th.
"The government will work as one to prepare for the approach of the typhoon," said Ryota Takeda, minister for disaster risk reduction, while urging people to evacuate early and stockpile water and food beforehand.
The agency warned that houses could collapse in strong winds of 216 kilometers per hour in the Tokai area in central Japan and Kanto-Koshin region, including the Tokyo metropolitan area, on Saturday.
Up to 800 millimeters of rain is expected in the Tokai region and 600 mm in the Kanto-Koshin region in the 24-hour period through Sunday morning, the agency said.
As of 9 a.m., the typhoon was traveling north-northwestward at a speed of 25 kph west of Chichijima Island in the Pacific with an atmospheric pressure of 925 hectopascals at its center, packing winds of up to 252 kph.

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