Tropical Storm Meari hammers Japan with heavy rainfall

The weather front is heading northwards towards the capital, Tokyo.

13 August 2022

Tropical Storm Meari has unleashed heavy rains on Japan’s main Honshu island as it heads northwards towards the capital, Tokyo, according to weather officials.

The Japan Meteorological Agency warned Meari was on course to make landfall by about noon, bringing sudden heavy rains and blasting winds, possibly setting off mudslides and flooding.

Shizuoka Prefecture, south-west of Tokyo, was told to brace for extremely heavy rainfall. More than 72,000 people in the area’s main city of Shizuoka were told to evacuate because of possible landslides.

Meari, packing sustained winds of up to 45mph, was moving over coastal waters at a speed of about 12 miles an hour and was expected to continue northward, making landfall before veering eastward, swinging over the Pacific Ocean by early on Sunday.

Japan Storm
Tropical Storm Meari is unleashing heavy rains on south-western Japan (Kyodo News via AP)

The Tokyo area was hammered by periodic downpours starting in the late morning and thunder rolled.

Warnings over high waves in coastal areas were issued for Tokyo, Kanagawa Prefecture, south-west of Tokyo, and other nearby areas.

The authorities warned against going near rivers or other waters, as the levels may rise suddenly.

Japan is in the middle of the Bon summer holidays, and holidaymakers are travelling in droves, although some have had to cancel or change plans.

The Rock in Japan Festival 2022, which began a week ago in Chiba Prefecture, east of Tokyo, cancelled the event for Saturday, the final day of the outdoor festival, and promised ticket refunds.

Tropical Storm Meari
Waves hit ashore as Tropical Storm Meari moves over coastal waters (Kyodo News via AP)

All Nippon Airways has cancelled some local flights in response to the storm.

Low-cost carrier Skymark Airlines also cancelled some flights. Bullet train services were delayed, and speed limits in tunnels in Shizuoka were temporarily lowered as a cautionary measure.

Authorities warned more train lines may be affected and roads blocked.

Northern Japan has had some heavy rainfall lately, and worries are growing about landslides.

The world’s third largest economy has often seen deaths and injuries caused by seasonal storms and torrential rainfall that damages dams, blows off rooftops and downs power lines.

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