The Caribbean and Japan on alert due to nature’s fury

While on one side of the planet, in the Caribbean, storm Fiona, which left havoc and killed one person in Guadeloupe, heads towards Puerto Rico, threatening to become a hurricane, on the other side, Japan prepares to face Typhoon Nanmadol, which the weather forecasters authorities in Japan and the United States estimate it could be the most devastating in the Pacific island’s history.

Tropical Storm Fiona has reached the French Caribbean island of Guadeloupe with maximum sustained winds of 85 kilometers per hour as it moves through the Lesser Antilles toward Puerto Rico with the potential to become a hurricane, according to the US National Hurricane Center (NHC). who issued a warning in this regard. The island asked the government in Washington to declare a state of emergency.

In Basse-Terre, the capital of Guadeloupe, one person died after his house was swept away by a flood. Authorities say the death toll could rise as several are reported missing.

The island’s emergency services said they received more than 600 calls for help, and twenty people were rescued during Fiona’s passage through the island.

The rains, which began to appear on Friday, caused floods of up to one and a half meters, causing power and water outages in the region, affecting at least 10,000 customers.

Roads are also affected, many destroyed and others completely flooded, and vehicles destroyed by the intensity of the storm. No data is yet known about the damage to infrastructure on the island.

Some neighboring islands such as Antigua and Barbuda, Montserrat, Anguilla and the British and US Virgin Islands were warned of Fiona’s possible passage, for which they canceled flights, suspended activities, closed schools and businesses.

Similarly, the NHC expects the storm to strengthen to a hurricane that could affect Puerto Rico with maximum sustained winds of 95 kilometers per hour.

Japan is awaiting the arrival of Nanmadol, an “unprecedented” typhoon on heightened alert

This handout photo taken and released on September 17, 2022 by the Japan Meteorological Agency shows satellite images showing Typhoon Nanmadol located near the remote islands of southern Japan. AFP – REPORTER

The Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) has issued a special warning ahead of the arrival of Typhoon Nanmadol, which is expected to reach the island of Kyushu at noon local time on Sunday. Meanwhile, residents of the southern part of the country are bracing for the super typhoon’s arrival as train travel and flights are suspended.

The JMA has issued a special typhoon warning for the island of Kyushu, located in Kagoshima Prefecture, southwestern Japan. The agency said it would be an “unprecedented” situation, as wind gusts of up to 270 kilometers per hour could be recorded.

Ryuta Kurora, the agency’s forecasting director, told a news conference that it was a “dangerous typhoon the likes of which we have never seen before.” The agency expects the storm to generate record amounts of rain in Kagoshima, where a red alert has been issued and some residents have been asked to evacuate the area.

According to the agency, southern Kyushu could experience up to half a meter of rain when it reaches land and could last up to 24 hours, which could cause dangerous flooding and landslides.

Authorities predicted the so-called “potentially destructive typhoon” could change course to the northeast and pass through the country’s main island of Honshu, reaching Tokyo on Tuesday before reaching the ocean on Wednesday.

For its part, the US Navy’s Joint Typhoon Warning Center said Nanmadol has the potential to be the most destructive tropical storm to hit Japan in decades.

The Japanese prepare for Nanmadol’s arrival

According to national broadcaster NHK, about two million people are at risk of the typhoon’s arrival, for which residents of the area have been asked to seek safe places of refuge.

Similarly, hundreds of flights were canceled over the weekend in the region and some railway operators announced full or partial suspension of services, such as the Kyushu Railway which suspended some of its lines.

The director of the Japan Meteorological Agency's Forecast Division gives a press conference on Typhoon Nanmadol in Tokyo on September 17, 2022.
The director of the Japan Meteorological Agency’s Forecast Division gives a press conference on Typhoon Nanmadol in Tokyo on September 17, 2022. AFP-STR

Authorities urged residents of Kagoshima Prefecture to stock up on food and medicine as department stores announced they would close as the typhoon passed.

For its part, Seven-Eleven Japan announced the temporary closure of 610 stores in the Kyushu and Chugoku regions starting Saturday night, according to local media reports.

Japan is hit every year by this type of storm, about 20 a year, between May and October. The Caribbean, on the other hand, experiences hurricane season between June and November. Scientists have warned that global warming has increased the severity of these types of phenomena.

The scientific community has warned of the devastation caused by climate change, which is leading to increasingly powerful natural phenomena. This year’s rains have left behind severe damage and thousands of victims in countries such as India, Pakistan and recently in Italy.

With EFE, Reuters and local media

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