Travellers about to visit Japan ahead of the Rugby World Cup as well the rest of the tourists might need to change their plans immediately as Japan's Meteorological Department has issued warnings of wreak in the country due to Typhoon Hagibis. Other than the effects on Rugby, two matches, England-France and New Zealand-Italy, have also been preemptively cancelled. As the storm approaches its landfall, its intensity decreases as a result of which Hagibis, which was previously classified as a "super typhoon," has been downgraded to simply "a typhoon" by the JTWC (Joint Typhoon Warning Center) with sustained winds of 220 kph and gusts up to 270 kph, the equivalent of a category four hurricane. As per meteorological reports, the typhoon is creating powerful 190mph winds, moving northwards over the Pacific Ocean and is due to hit Japan by October 12. It is expected to hit first in the south of Japan's main island. While the storm is expected to weaken by the time it hits Japan with wind speeds of around 160mph it will still be seen as a “violent storm” and so Japan has been put on alert. Later, it's expected to turn northwest and hit Japan over the weekend as well as bringing prolonged rain, high seas and storm surge. Hagibis is the 19th typhoon of this year.
The Japan National Travel Org predicts rough weather, transport delays, and suspensions across rail services and to some flights.
As per the Japanese Civil Aviation Bureau, flights departing and arriving from both Tokyo airports, Haneda and Narita have been cancelled on October 12, affecting a total of at least 1187 flights and nearly 190,000 passengers. All Nippon Airways informed that it has canceled a total of 602 flights (490 domestic and 112 international), affecting 101,000 passengers of the total. Similarly, Japan Airlines has canceled a total of 585 flights (513 domestic, 72 international), affecting 88,000 passengers. The Airlines will not charge any handling fees for the changes or refunds resulting from the anticipated effects on operations caused by bad weather (typhoon, etc) or natural disasters, it clarified.
Sources to Japanese media expect that most train and subway service around Tokyo and central Japan will be halted from before noon Saturday, if not earlier. The Central Japan Railway Company has cancelled nearly all bullet trains departing Tokyo and Osaka on October 12, which number approximately 400 departures. The East Japan Railway Company's website notes that "there is a possibility that operations of the conventional lines and Shinkansen will be suspended on October 12 and 13 due to Typhoon No.19". Travelers need to check real-time updates on their websites and social media accounts as events warrant.
Even roadways will be closed to prevent travelers from exposing themselves to the typhoon, said the authorities. Alerts have also been issued by Japenese Government for the fishermen to stay off the sea and to those who live by the coast.