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Typhoon advancing toward Tokyo area on holiday weekend

New Zealand All Blacks coach Steve Hansen and captain Kieran Read, right, address a press conference following the announcement of the cancellation of their Oct. 12 pool match match against Italy, in Tokyo, Japan, Thursday, Oct.10, 2019. Rugby World Cup organizers have had to cancel two games scheduled for Saturday because of concerns over the anticipated impact of Typhoon Hagibis. (Mark Mitchell/NZ Herald via AP)

TOKYO — A powerful typhoon is advancing toward the Tokyo area, where torrential rains are expected this weekend.

The Japan Meteorological Agency said Typhoon Hagibis was in the Pacific advancing north-northwestward toward Japan’s main island. Its winds of 180 kilometres per hour (110 mph) with gusts to 250 kph (156 mph) as of Friday morning were expected to weaken before landfall Saturday.

Up to 800 millimeters (30 inches) of rain was forecast south and west of Tokyo. The capital region may see 600 mm (23.6 inches) of rain from Saturday morning to Sunday morning. It’s forecast to pass out to sea by Sunday afternoon.

The storm is expected to disrupt sports and holiday events on the three-day weekend that includes Sports Day on Monday. Two Rugby World Cup matches that were to be played Saturday have already been cancelled. Qualifying for a Formula One auto racing in Suzuka was pushed to Sunday. And the Defence Ministry cut a three-day annual navy review to just Monday.

Airlines and train services are already making cancellations. All Nippon Airways grounded all domestic flights Saturday at Tokyo’s Haneda and Narita international airports. Japan Airlines and train services expected cancellations as well.

The typhoon is spreading fear especially in Chiba, near Tokyo, which was hit by Typhoon Faxai last month and where homes still have damage.

Chiba city distributed sandbags to shield against flooding and urged residents to make sure they have enough food, water and their phones are charged.

The Associated Press