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Uncertainty remains as Japan braces for Super Typhoon Hagibis

10th October 2019 - Author: Charlie Wood

As Super Typhoon Hagibis bears down on the southern coast of Japan, uncertainty remains over the ultimate impact it will have on the region.

Currently located over open waters 752 miles out from the central city of Yokosuka, Hagibis’ maximum sustained wind speed has been estimated at 129 mph (Category 3) and 161 mph (Cat 5) by the Japan Meteorological Agency and Joint Typhoon Warning Center, respectively.

The latest update from global risk modelling and analytics firm RMS indicates that Hagibis will weaken over the next few days and make landfall, or bypass close to the southern coast of Japan, on Saturday October 12.

JMA currently believes the maximum sustained wind speeds of Hagibis will weaken to 106 mph as it approaches the south of Japan, while JTWC is projecting higher wind speeds of 115 mph.

While uncertainty continues to cast significant doubt at this stage of the storm’s passage, storm surge, rainfall and flooding will likely be an issue, as Hagibis dumps significant rainfall totals along its path; this would also raise the potential of landslides across the country’s mountainous terrain.

It’s also worth noting the compounding effect this typhoon could have following the recent impact of Faxai, and lingering loss creep from Jebi.

Early disruption has already been caused in the form of cancelled rugby World Cup fixtures, power supply disruption on the Mariana and Saipan Islands, and early damage in the form of fallen trees and flooded roads.

We will continue to provide updates for Hagibis as the week progresses.

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