Tropical Storm "Etau" made landfall in Aichi prefecture, central Japan, around 01:00 UTC on September 9, 2015 (10:00 local time). Etau is bringing very heavy rain and causing floods and landslides. Weather officials issued evacuation advisories for several cities along the coast.
Etau formed as the eighteenth tropical depression of the 2015 northwestern Pacific Ocean typhoon season near the island of Iwo To, Japan on Sunday, September 7. At 09:00 UTC on September 8, the system was centered about 702 km (436 miles) south of Yokosuka, Japan, and moving to the north at 25.3 km/h (16.1 mph) with maximum sustained winds near 83.3 km/h (61.7 mph).
Tropical Storm "Etau" at 01:30 on September 8, 2015. Image credit: NASA Terra/MODIS.
As Etau approached the mainland Japan, the city of Toba recorded 99 mm (3.54 inches) of rain in one hour (up to 8:20 local time on September 9). 36 mm (1.41 inches) was recorded in the city of Sagamihara, west of Tokyo, in the hour up to 10:30 local time, according to NHK.
As of 00:00 UTC on September 9 (09:00 local time), Tropical Storm "Etau" had a central pressure of 990 hPa. It was packing winds of up to 82.8 km/h (51.3 mph), and was headed NW at 25 km/h (15.5 mph), according to JMA. By 07:45 UTC (16:45 local time), Etau's central pressure was 998 hPa, its maximum sustained winds were 64.8 km/h (40.2 mph), and it was moving to the NNW at 40 km/h (25 mph).
Meteorologist Robert Speta of the WestPacWx (and NHK) said some areas of the country have already seen well over 300 mm (11.8 inches) of rain, resulting in flooding and reports of landslides.
Flooding has closed roads and delayed numerous trains across central Japan. A 10 m (32.8 feet) wide landslide resulted in the damage of several homes in Shizuoka, however, no injuries have been reported, Speta added.
72-hr rainfall accumulation by September 9 at 00:00 UTC. Image credit: Google/NASA/JAXA GPM.
The maximum rainfall predicted over a 24-hour period up to 06:00 local time on September 10 (21:00 UTC on September 9) is 300 mm (11.8 inches) for the Kanto-Koshin region, 250 mm (9.84 inches) for the Tokai region, 200 mm (7.87 inches) for the Tohoku region, 150 mm (5.9 inches) for the Chugoku, Kinki, and Hokuriku regions, and 120 mm (4.72 inches) for the Izu island chain.
Etau is expected to move over Honshu through early afternoon (local time) and reach the Sea of Japan by the evening. Cooler sea surface temperatures in the Sea of Japan will eventually lead to its dissipation, but, for now, the threat of landslides remains high.
JMA is advising residents, particularly in eastern Japan and the Kinki region, to take precautions against landslides, flooding in low-elevation areas, swollen or flooded rivers, strong winds and high waves.
Featured image: Tropical Storm "Etau" around 08:00 UTC on September 9, 2015. Image credit: Google, NASA/JAXA GPM.