Typhoon Hagibis was recently hailed as the “most powerful storm in the world” by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in the US. The storm, which quickly exploded into fruition earlier last week, will trail through the Pacific Ocean with wind speeds exceeding 160mph, and is set to take a northwestern turn later this week. When it does so, Hagibis is expected to weaken, but the “violent storm” has Japan on alert.
Typhoon Hagibis is currently ripping through the Pacific Ocean with devastating winds nearing 200mph, as it prepares its run on Japan later this week.
The storm was recently upgraded to a “Super Typhoon”, which means it is churning at the strength of a Category 4 hurricane, the second strongest a storm can be on the Saffir-Simpson scale.
At this strength, Hagibis would cause “catastrophic” damage on landfall, tearing apart buildings and posing a threat to life.
One expert recently explained the typhoon has rapidly strengthened in one “explosive” movement.
Typhoon Hagibis update: Japan on ALERT as 'explosive' super typhoon barrels towards Tokyo
Robert Speta, a US Navy meteorologist and typhoon specialist, said the storm recently gathered steam in an “explosive intensification.”
He said: “The storm went from a tropical storm to a violent typhoon in a matter of hours.
“In fact, it was a historic amount of intensification in such a short time.
“This only happens when all the right ingredients are in place."
“Like if you had a fire and instead of throwing gasoline on it to make it bigger you also grabbed some lighter fluid, a bit of oil and a couple of aerosol cans for good measure.”
Mr Speta added the leftover effects of Typhoon Faxai, which hit the Kanto region of Japan last month, will stagger the storm’s effects.
He continued: “This storm should be a classic recurve type storm with the worst of it being on the easterly side as it moves north.
“The big difference here is that some coastal areas are still recovering from Typhoon Faxai last month”.
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Typhoon Hagibis: What time will Hagibis make landfall in Japan? [EXPLAINER]
The Japan Meteorological Agency today released an “unusual” pre-warning for Typhoon Hagibis.
The JMA traditionally releases a warning the day before a damaging storm is expected to make landfall.
However, today’s warning comes three days early, as the agency expects Hagibis will hit from October 12 and 13.
They warned the typhoon could smash Japan’s east coast with similar strength to Typhoon Faxai, which hit last month.
In September, Typhoon Faxai hit Japan’s Chiba prefecture with record-breaking wind strength and heavy rain.
Wind intensity peaked in the region on September 9, with maximum wind speeds of 128mph recorded in Chiba’s Chuo Ward.
Izu, Shizuoka Prefecture, recorded 109mm of rain (four inches) within one hour.
Typhoon Faxai killed one woman and injured a further 30 people when it made landfall in Tokyo.
Simon King, BBC weather presenter and meteorologist, explained the typhoon will be “very strong” as it makes landfall.
He said: "It is equivalent to a category five hurricane, making it one of the most powerful tropical cyclones around the world this year.
"The typhoon will start to weaken as it continues its track northward. However, forecasts from the Joint Typhoon Warning Centre and the Japanese Meteorological Service suggest it will make landfall in southern Honshu, around the Tokyo area on Saturday lunchtime UK time.
"By this point, it'll still be categorised as a 'very strong typhoon' with wind gusts in excess of 100mph and bring between 200-500mm of rain.
"This will be significant in a built-up area such as Tokyo with damage and flooding expected."