Tropical Storm Meari heads to Japan, packed with winds, rain

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TOKYO – Tropical Storm Meari brought torrential downpours in southwestern Japan as it headed north on Saturday toward the capital Tokyo, according to Japanese weather officials.

The Japan Meteorological Agency warned Meari would make landfall at noon, bringing unexpected heavy rains and strong winds, which could cause landslides and flooding.

Shizuoka Prefecture, southwest of Tokyo, is expected to experience extreme rainfall.

Meari, with sustained winds of up to 72 kilometers (45 miles) per hour, is moving over coastal waters and is expected to continue making landfall north, making landfall before turning back. east, flying over the Pacific Ocean early Sunday.

The Tokyo area is likely to be affected by intense rain and wind later in the day. Warnings for high waves in coastal areas have been issued for Tokyo, Kanagawa Prefecture, southwest of Tokyo and other surrounding areas.

Authorities warn against approaching rivers or other bodies of water, as water levels can rise suddenly.

Japan is in the middle of the Bon summer holiday and tourists are traveling in droves but some have had to cancel or change plans.

The Rock in Japan 2022 festival, which began a week ago in Chiba Prefecture, east of Tokyo, canceled its event on Saturday, the last day of the outdoor festival, and promised a refund of tickets.

All Nippon Airways canceled local flights in response to the storm. Bullet train services have been delayed and the speed limit in the tunnels in Shizuoka has been temporarily lowered as a warning measure. Authorities warned many train lines could be affected and roads congested.

The world’s third-largest economy regularly sees deaths and injuries from seasonal storms and torrential rains that damage dams, blow off roofs and power lines.

Yuri Kageyama is on Twitter

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