Japan braces for typhoon ahead of weekend as public urged to evacuate

Men look at fishing boats as surging waves hit against the breakwater while Typhoon Hagibis approaches at a port in town of Kiho, Mie prefec Credit: Toru Hanai/AP

People in the path of Typoon Hagibis have been told to evacuate as the powerful storm bears down on Japan.

Forecasters believe it could dump two feet of rain on parts of the country and bring damaging winds to the Tokyo area this weekend.

Japan’s government has also warned the public to stockpile supplies before it became too dangerous.

The Rugby World Cup and other events were cancelled for Saturday, and flights and train services halted.

“In order to protect your own life and your loved ones, please try to start evacuating early before it gets dark and the storm becomes powerful,” Meteorological Agency forecast department chief Yasushi Kajihara told a news conference.

A man watches a public TV of weather forecast in Tokyo. Credit: Eugene Hoshiko/AP

Mr Kajihara said Typhoon Hagibis resembled a typhoon that hit the Tokyo region in 1958 with heavy rains and left a half-million houses flooded. More than 1,200 people died in that storm.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s Cabinet is to hold a disaster management meeting later on Friday.

Typhoon Hagibis likely path and sporting events affected. See story RUGBYU Typhoon. Infographic PA Graphics

“The government is doing the utmost to prepare for the approaching typhoon,” disaster management minister Ryota Takeda told reporters, and urged people to prepare early and obtain food and water.

Economy Minister Isshu Sugawara urged hospitals and other public facilities to check their backup power.

Formula One has cancelled qualifying on Saturday for Sunday's Grand Prix in Suzuka and it's not clear yet whether the race itself will go ahead.