Almost every day, there is some sort of landslide, volcanic eruption, or earthquake. In fact, approximately 50 earthquakes happen everyday. However, when was the last time a typhoon has occurred? Provided that one hit Japan on October 12, 2019- and they’re still experiencing the consequences- not very long ago.
To start, there is a reason this typhoon was titled Hagibis. Thanks to its ludicrously high death toll and extremely harsh behavior towards Japan, the storm was named Hagibis as it means speed(y) in Filipino. The death toll is thought to be at least 80 as of October 20, 2019- according to Kyodo News- though many individuals are still missing. In addition, the farming ministry is saying agricultural relief costs are estimated to be 38.3 billion yen ($325 million USD). Though, as stated in another article by Kyodo News, “…the figure is expected to increase.” In an attempt to top all of that damage, just under 10,000 houses were flooded, CNN reported. All together, there are close to 5,500 people now living in shelters.
To get into the specifics, Japan is quite widely known for its “bullet trains”. A bullet train is a line of high tech railroad cars that levitates (thanks to an electrodynamic suspension system or EDS) over the tracks and can reach incredible speeds in accordance to jrailpass.com. The storm has ruined many of those as well. Mentioned by The Japan Times, “[t]he swamped trains might be scrapped as the company has confirmed serious damage to the electrical systems….” In addition, as reported by NHK, almost 12,000 homes have no electricity nor clean, running water.
Surprisingly, even with all of this damage, Hagibis is not the most severe typhoon to demolish Japan. In 2011 a typhoon- later named Typhoon Talas or Tropical Storm Talas- crashed onto Japan and became what is considered Japan’s most intense typhoon. Even so, because this rank is based off the death toll, since Talas had 82 deaths, Hagibis might surpass it since it has 80. Typhoon Hagibis may very well- eventually- be the worst and most tragic typhoon to hit Japan in all recorded history.
By: Peyton Erb
Photo Credits: https://asia.nikkei.com/