Violent mega storm is about 186 miles southeast of Miyako Island
The “unstoppable” Super Typhoon Trami is on target to rip through mainland Japan this weekend with violent 134mph winds and torrential rain, experts are warning.
The mega-storm which is currently rated category 2 by Tropical Storm Risk, with category 5 the highest, is around 186 miles (300km) southeast of Miyako Island as it gathers pace above the Pacific Ocean.
Forecasters predict the typhoon will pick up speed as it approaches Western Japan and is expected to make landfall on Sunday.
Following a year filled with a higher-than-usual number of natural disasters, including a major heatwave, heavy rains, and landslides, Trami is the latest storm to threaten Japan.
Last month, Kansai International airport near Osaka was flooded by a typhoon, leaving thousands of travelers stranded.
Although the Japanese capital of Tokyo is due for heavy rain, current predictions show it will avoid a direct hit, according to the Daily Mail.
“As it is forecast to go across Japan at a high speed, we are urging people to be vigilant” in the days ahead, Sakiko Nishioka from the meteorological agency told AFP.
“Please be on high alert against violent winds, high waves, and heavy rainfall,” the agency warned in a statement.
After dumping torrential rain on the outlying islands, the typhoon is forecast to pick up the pace as it approaches Western Japan on Sunday, remaining very strong as it barrels over the mainland.
Pictures from the International Space Station posted on Twitter by astronaut Alexander Gerst on Tuesday showed Trami’s gigantic eye which he said was “as if somebody pulled the planet’s gigantic plug.”
“Staring down the eye of yet another fierce storm…
“Trami is unstoppable and heading for Japan and Taiwan.
“Be safe down there!” he wrote.
Japan’s main two airlines JAL and ANA have already begun to cancel some domestic flights, scrapping more than 100 between them to the islands.
If the forecast continues, it will be the latest in a series of extreme natural events to strike Japan.
Jebi, the most powerful storm to hit Japan in 25 years, brought some of the highest tides since a 1961 typhoon and flooded Kansai airport near Osaka, taking it out of service for days.
Seventeen people died in the storm, whose high winds sent trees toppling to the ground and cars skidding across parking lots.
Even for a nation used to disasters, this year has been hard for Japan, starting with a volcanic eruption in January that rained rocks down on a ski resort, killing one.
July brought record-breaking heat that killed at least 80 people and sent over 20,000 to hospital for treatment, along with torrential rains in western Japan that set off floods and landslides, killing more than 200.
Just two days after Jebi hit in September, the northernmost main island of Hokkaido was rocked by an earthquake that set off landslides, knocked out power throughout the island and killed at least 44 people.
WHAT IS TRAMI?
Trami is the latest storm to threaten Japan in a year filled with more than the usual number of disasters, including punishing heat, heavy rains and landslides.
The ‘unstoppable’ Super Typhoon Trami, which is rated category 2 by Tropical Storm Risk, with category 5 the highest, has destructive winds gusting as high as 134 mph (216kmh).
It is about 186 miles (300km) southeast of Miyako island, with winds gusting as high as 134 mph (216kmh).
Though the Japanese capital of Tokyo is set for heavy rain, current predictions show it avoiding a direct hit.
After dumping torrential rain on the outlying islands, the typhoon is forecast to pick up speed and approach western Japan on Sunday, remaining very strong as it barrels over the mainland.