Hurricane Haishen grazes Japanese coast, damage less than feared

In Japan, the balance is being drawn up now that Hurricane Haishen has pulled along the southwest coast tonight. It was feared beforehand that it would be one of the worst storms ever in Japan, with heavy rainfall, floods and waves of ten meters high.

The authorities reported 35 injured and four people went missing. According to the Japanese broadcaster NHK wind gusts of 216 kilometres per hour were measured. The wind knocked down trees and electricity poles and left half a million homes without electricity. Yet there was less damage than expected, says correspondent Kjeld German in the CCeit Radio 1 News.

Buildings were damaged and here and there a fallen tree or lamppost blocked the road:

More than one million Japanese took the authorities’ warnings seriously and responded to the call for evacuation. This would have limited the number of casualties.

“People were warned to leave three days in advance. That has never happened before, so that made a big impression”, says correspondent German. “Usually people ignore the advice to prepare and evacuate. But after more than 200 deaths last year due to flooding and only two months ago 80 due to flooding, the Japanese took the advice to prepare seriously now”

Because of the coronavirus, the evacuation centres were only able to take in half as many people as there is normally room for. Japanese who had no room, could stay in hotel rooms that had been empty for months because of the pandemic.

South Korea

As a precaution, companies and shipyards remained closed and hundreds of flights were cancelled. Water was also discharged from 23 reservoirs to protect the dams.

The rain and heavy gusts of wind in Japan will last until tomorrow morning in the Netherlands. The centre of Haishen has now reached South Korea and will pass by North Korea in the direction of China. The German fears that South Korea will not jump off the dance as easily as Japan did. “South Korea is not accustomed to heavy storms so heavy damage is expected there.”

In South Korea hurricane Haishen causes flooding and five thousand people are without power.