Transport services suspended, stores closed as huge typhoon set to hit Tokyo area

Japan was at its highest level of alert Saturday morning as a major typhoon edged closer to Tokyo and other areas of eastern Japan, with train operators and airlines set to suspend most services in the metropolitan area.
Typhoon Hagibis, which could dump amounts of rain not seen since a deadly typhoon in 1958, is expected to make landfall on the Pacific coast of central Japan or eastern Japan on Saturday evening, the Japan Meteorological Agency said.
The projected path of the typhoon may result in further damage to areas in Chiba Prefecture near Tokyo where another powerful typhoon triggered widespread power outages in September.
Chiba's prefectural government said a tornado hit part of Ichihara city and destroyed a house, injuring four people. Their injuries were not life-threatening, it said.
Central Japan prefectures, such as Mie and Shizuoka, and Kanagawa southwest of Tokyo have issued evacuation advisories to many of their municipalities. The Tokyo metropolitan government advised residents mainly in its western suburbs to evacuate.
As of 9 a.m. Saturday, Typhoon Hagibis was traveling north at a speed of 20 kilometers per hour, some 260 km southwest of Hachijo Island in the Pacific. It had an atmospheric pressure of 945 hectopascals at its center and was packing winds of up to 234 kph.
The typhoon is forecast to bring winds of 216 kph to the Tokai region in central Japan and the Kanto-Koshin region, including the Tokyo metropolitan area, and could potentially knock over houses, the agency warned.
Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc (TEPCO) said damage to a power-transmission line caused a brief power outage in Chiba. As of around 10:30 a.m., about 8,800 homes were without power in Tokyo, Chiba and two other prefectures in its service area.
Up to 1,000 millimeters of rain is expected in the Tokai region, and 600 mm in the Kanto-Koshin region, in the 24-hour period through midnight Saturday, the agency said.
Transport services suspended, stores closed as huge typhoon set to hit Tokyo area
A passenger walks past a notice on the suspension of bullet train services at Tokyo Station on Saturday. Photo: AP/Eugene Hoshiko
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