HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Japan’s meteorological agency is warning that a typhoon barreling toward central Japan could bring record rains and catastrophic flooding.
Typhoon Hagibis is expected to strike Japan this weekend, and much of the impacted areas are already hunkered down in preparation for the storm.
On Friday, Japanese forecasters said Hagibis could be similar to a typhoon that hit Japan in 1958, leaving more than 1,200 people dead or missing.
The typhoon is expected to impact wide areas of the Izu Peninsula and the Kanto region, including greater Tokyo. The nation’s meteorological agency said it is prepared to issue a level-five special heavy rain warning, which is applied when life-threatening disasters to metropolitan areas are expected.
NHK anchor Ross Mihara has lived in Japan for about 25 years. He says for the past two days, residents have been stocking up on supplies
“Throughout Friday, yeah, all the supermarkets in Tokyo as well as the convenience stores, their shelves had been emptied. Water, everything you can thing of," he said.
Ahead of the storm, airlines also canceled 1,600 flights, including many between Hawaii and Japan.
Hawaiian Airlines said it canceled a number of flights into and out of Narita International and Haneda Airport, and would accommodate passengers on flights once the typhoon passes.
Hawaiian is also offering travel waivers. For more information, click here.
Japan Airlines, meanwhile, said the majority of its flights between Japan and Hawaii were canceled. A full list of cancellations can be found here.
And United Airlines canceled all of its flights to and from Japan, and also offered travel waivers.
“We’ll continue to monitor the storm and adjust our schedule as needed for the safety of our employees and customers,” a United spokeswoman told Hawaii News Now.
Japan is regularly hit by Pacific storms.
Typhoon Faxai caused massive power outages in Chiba prefecture near Tokyo in September. And typhoon Jebi flooded a terminal and a runway at Kansai International Airport last year.
The energy from Typhoon Hagibis will bring moderate-sized surf to Hawaii starting Tuesday.