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 and airlines announced plans to suspend many services in the metropolitan area.
Typhoon Hagibis, which it is feared could dump torrential rain on a level not seen since a deadly typhoon in 1958, is expected to approach the region from Friday evening and make landfall Saturday evening, before passing east of Hokkaido in northern Japan on Sunday afternoon, according to the Japan Meteorological Agency.
There will be no shinkansen bullet trains between Tokyo and Nagoya throughout Saturday, only six early-morning services will run between Nagoya and Shin-Osaka, and operations between Shin-Osaka and Okayama will be canceled from the afternoon.
East Japan Railway Co said it will gradually suspend trains in the Tokyo metropolitan area on Saturday -- starting some time between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. -- including its Tohoku and Hokuriku shinkansen services.
All Nippon Airways Co said it will cancel all domestic flights and most international 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 on Saturday, 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.
With winds forecast to reach 216 kilometers per hour, the agency warned houses were at risk of collapsing in the Tokai area in central Japan, and the 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.
It added the predicted rainfall amounts would be in line with those deposited by Typhoon Ida in September 1958, which left 1,200 people dead or missing across Japan.
That typhoon, known as Kanogawa in Japan, ripped through the Kanto region and the Izu Peninsula, causing Kano River in Shizuoka Prefecture to overflow.
As of 3 p.m., Typhoon Hagibis was traveling north-northwestward at a speed of 25 kph, some 550 kilometers south-southwest of Hachijo Island in the Pacific, with an atmospheric pressure of 925 hectopascals at its center, packing winds of up to 252 kph.
-- Tokyo metropolitan area, from 9 a.m. Saturday through Sunday noon
JR bullet trains
-- between Tokyo and Nagoya on Saturday
-- between Nagoya and Shin-Osaka on Saturday (three trains will run in each direction between 6 a.m. and 7 a.m.)
-- between Shin-Osaka and Okayama from Saturday afternoon
-- some sections on Marunouchi, Hibiya, Chiyoda and other lines from around 1 p.m. Saturday
-- some sections on Mita and Shinjuku lines from 2 p.m. Saturday
-- from 3 p.m. Saturday
-- Romancecar, all day Saturday
-- from around 11:30 a.m. Saturday
-- from around 2 p.m. Saturday
-- from around 1 p.m. Saturday through Sunday morning
-- from around noon Saturday through Sunday noon
-- from around 1 p.m. Saturday
-- from around 11:30 a.m. Saturday
-- from 2 p.m. Saturday
-- from around 4 p.m. Saturday through Sunday noon
-- most international flights to and from Haneda, Narita airports on Saturday
-- all international flights to and from Nagoya and Osaka on Saturday
-- all domestic flights to and from Haneda, Narita airports on Saturday
-- many domestic flights to and from Nagoya and Osaka on Saturday
-- many international flights to and from Haneda, Narita, Nagoya and Kansai airports on Saturday
-- many domestic flights to and from Haneda, Narita, Nagoya, Osaka and Kansai airports on Saturday© KYODO