Hagibis is this year’s most powerful typhoon so far. It has been classified as a violent typhoon, the highest category on Japan’s typhoon scale, by the Japan Meteorological Agency.
When it developed explosively near the Northern Mariana Islands, its central pressure plummeted from 992hPa to 915hPa within 24 hours. According to Digital Typhoon, this is the ninth-most rapid intensification in recorded history.
The typhoon had a central pressure of 915hPa as of Thursday, making it one of the most intense tropical systems of 2019. The diameter of the windiest area, with speeds of over 54kph, is 1400km, which is almost half the length of the Japanese archipelago.
Hagibis had a large expanse of clouds that dumped heavy rains over the weekend in many parts of the nation including the Greater Tokyo area. It brought nearly 600 millimeters of rain over a 24-hour period to some parts of Miyagi Prefecture, and more than 400 millimeters to Iwate and Fukushima Prefectures in northeastern Japan. Meteorological officials say up to 40 percent of yearly rainfall was recorded in only a day or two in many areas.
The rain caused many rivers to overflow. Japan's land ministry says that by Tuesday morning, it had established that Typhoon Hagibis broke 66 levees on rivers across the country. NHK has learned more than 13,000 houses were submerged and about 900 houses were completely or partly destroyed.
In northeastern Japan's Fukushima Prefecture, one of the hardest-hit areas, at least 26 people died. A mother and her young son were found dead in the city of Koriyama, four kilometers apart. Another of her sons is still missing.
Most of the damage in the prefecture was caused by an overflowing river that runs through a densely-populated area. One resident of the city of Iwaki says he is in trouble as he cannot use the restrooms nor drink water and the convenience stores are closed.
Municipal officials in Nagano say flood waters from the Chikuma River have inundated houses up to the second floor in parts of the city. Residents are stranded in the Hoyasu district and rescue operations are underway. Officials there say they have no reports of injuries or missing persons.
A maintenance yard for the Hokuriku shinkansen bullet train in Nagano Prefecture, central Japan, was also swamped. Its operator says 10 trains, a total of 120 carriages, were damaged.
Japan's land ministry says an area of about 950 hectares, or 9.5 square kilometers, flooded in Nagano Prefecture over the weekend because of the heavy rainfall that burst the banks of the Chikuma River.
Japan's Geospatial Information Authority says floodwaters were up to 4.3 meters deep in the district of Akanuma in Nagano City, which is home to the shinkansen depot.
In Kawagoe City, Saitama Prefecture, next to Tokyo, the Kawagoe Kings Garden nursing home was flooded, stranding more than 200 residents. But they were all rescued by boat by Monday.
Rescue efforts are taking place around the clock to save the people that are still stranded and to search for the missing. Japanese government officials say the government will work with the private sector, getting assistance from across Japan to respond to the situation. They say they will help municipalities improve the conditions of shelters before they get such requests. They also promised to provide accurate information in a timely manner.