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Tropical Cyclone “Lan” makes landfall in Japan, bringing record-breaking rainfall

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Tropical Cyclone “Lan” made landfall near Cape Shionomisaki in Japan’s Wakayama Prefecture just before 05:00 LT on Tuesday, August 15, 2023 (20:00 UTC, August 14), with winds near 160 km/h (100 mph) — equivalent to a Category 2 hurricane in the Atlantic. 

Soon after making landfall, the storm exited into the Sea of Japan and continued bringing extremely heavy rains and strong winds to wide areas of the country. Authorities issued evacuation orders for more than 237 000 people.

According to the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA), Tottori city recorded 483 mm (19 inches) of rainfall in just 3 hours while Kagamino town in Okayama recorded 461.5 mm (18 inches) — exceeding the average rainfall for the entire month of August in both areas. Record-breaking rainfall of 304.5 mm (12 inches) was recorded in Omoto, Iwaizumi in just three hours while 100 mm (3.9 inches) fell in Tanohata village and the eastern part of Miyako city in just 1 hour. In 24 hours, Odai in Mie Prefecture recorded 600 mm (23.6 inches) of rainfall, and Nachikatsuura in Wakayama Prefecture 500 mm (19.7 inches).

At least 26 people were injured, of which one critically.

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Tropical Cyclone “Lan” at 00:50 UTC on August 15, 2023. Credit: JMA/Himawari-9, RAMMB/CIRA, The Watchers
tropical cyclone lan jtwc fcst 15z august 15 2023

Central Japan Railway Co. and West Japan Railway Co. canceled all bullet train services between Nagoya and Shin-Osaka stations and those between Shin-Osaka and Okayama stations throughout Tuesday.

Nearly 800 flights were canceled and almost 90 000 households lost power.

Lan is expected to travel northward over the Sea of Japan through Thursday, August 17, and approach Hokkaido in northern Japan.

JMA is warning of heavy rainfall over a wide area from western to northern Japan and possible flooding and landslides.

References:

1 Typhoon Lan rips across western Japan, causes holiday travel chaos – The Mainichi – August 15, 2023

2 Typhoon Lan makes landfall in Japan, thousands urged to seek safety – Reuters – August 15, 2023

Featured image: Tropical Cyclone “Lan” at 00:50 UTC on August 15, 2023. Credit: JMA/Himawari-9, RAMMB/CIRA, The Watchers

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