FUKUOKA -- The Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) is warning of landslides, swollen rivers, strong winds and high tides as Typhoon Chanthu is expected to make landfall in the northern Kyushu region in southwest Japan on the evening of Sept. 17.
Typhoon Chanthu, the 14th tropical storm of the year, was located off west Kyushu and moving east-northeast as of the early afternoon of Sept. 17. After making landfall, it is projected to move eastward while crossing the Shikoku and Kinki regions in west Japan. As widespread heavy rains are forecast from western through northern Japan through Sept. 18 due to the nearing typhoon, West Japan Railway Co. has kept operation of Sanyo Shinkansen bullet trains suspended between Hiroshima and Hakata stations since the early afternoon of Sept. 17.
According to the JMA, as of 11 a.m. on Sept. 17 the typhoon was moving east-northeast at a speed of 20 kilometers per hour some 100 km off the Goto Islands in Nagasaki Prefecture in the Kyushu region. The air pressure at its center was 990 hectopascals, with a maximum sustained wind speed of 25 meters per second (90 km/h) and gusts topping out at 35 m/s (126 km/h). In areas within 390 km northeast of the storm's center and within 330 km southwest, strong winds of more than 15 m/s (54 km/h) are blowing.
The maximum sustained and instantaneous wind speeds through Sept. 18 are expected to reach 25 m/s and 35 m/s, respectively, in the northern Kyushu region, while wind speeds of 23 m/s and 35 m/s, respectively, are forecast in west Japan's Chugoku, Shikoku and Kinki regions. The southern Kyushu region and the Tokai and Kanto-Koshin regions in central and east Japan will see sustained and momentary wind speeds of up to 20 m/s and 30 m/s, respectively. In northeast Japan's Tohoku region wind speeds of 18 m/s and 30 m/s, respectively, are projected.
With warm, humid air flowing into the typhoon and weather front, making the atmosphere highly unstable, downpours accompanied by thunderstorms are anticipated in areas mainly in west Japan on Sept. 17 and in east Japan on Sept. 18.
In the 24-hour period until 6 a.m. on Sept. 18, the Shikoku region is expected to see up to 300 millimeters of rain, while 250 mm is forecast for the northern Kyushu and the Tokai regions, 200 mm for the Chugoku and Kinki regions, 150 mm for the southern Kyushu region, 120 mm for the Kanto-Koshin and Hokuriku regions, and 100 mm for the Tohoku region.
(Japanese original by Hiroshi Higa, Kyushu News Department)