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Super Typhoon Nanmadol

Super Typhoon Nanmadol reached peak strength on September 16, 2022, as it headed towards a potentially devastating landfall over Japan. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on board NASA’s Aqua satellite acquired a true-color image of the storm on that same day. Photo: NASA


The Inertia

Some nine million people have been told to evacuate from their homes in Japan as super typhoon Nanmadol batters the country. It’s one of the worst typhoons the country has ever seen, but so far, only two people have died. It is the 14th typhoon to hit Japan this season.

“We need to remain highly vigilant for heavy rains, gales, high waves and storm surges,” an official from the Japanese Meteorological Agency said at a news conference.

On Sunday morning, Nanmadol made landfall on Kyushu, one of Japan’s main islands. It is expected to reach Honshu, the biggest island, in the next day or so. As of this reporting, around 350,000 homes are without power. Thousands of people are taking refuge in emergency shelters. Heavy flooding is already happening, as are powerful mudslides.

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Nanmadol brought with it extraordinarily strong winds with gusts up to 145 miles per hour, and the precipitation forecast is dismal. Some areas are expecting up to 16 inches of rain in 24 hours.

Most of the trains, ferries, and flights have been cancelled, with many shops choosing to shutter their doors and brace for the storm.

Footage from the area shows roofs being torn from buildings and extensive flood and mud damage. Nanmadol, thankfully, will likely turn and head back out to sea by Wednesday, but the damage is already adding up. And it will likely not be the last typhoon this season, as a result of another La Niña year.

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