A man is drenched in the rain brought by Tropical Storm Meari in Hamamatsu, Japan, on Saturday. AP
The Japan Meteorological Agency warned Meari was on course to make landfall by noon, bringing sudden heavy rains and blasting winds, possibly setting off mudslides and flooding.
Shizuoka Prefecture, southwest of Tokyo, was told to brace for extremely heavy rainfall.
Meari, packing sustained winds of up to 72 kilometres (45 miles) per hour, was moving over coastal waters and expected to continue northward, making landfall before veering eastward, swinging over the Pacific Ocean by early Sunday.
People seek shelter from an isolated downpour in the Akihabara district of Tokyo on Saturday. AFP
The Tokyo area was likely to be hammered by fierce rainfall and winds later in the day. Warnings on high waves in coastal areas were issued for Tokyo, Kanagawa Prefecture, southwest of Tokyo, and other nearby areas.
The authorities warned against going near rivers or other waters, as the levels may rise suddenly.
Japan is in the middle of the Bon summer holidays, and vacationers are traveling in droves but some have had to cancel or change plans.
The Rock in Japan Festival 2022, which began a week ago in Chiba Prefecture, east of Tokyo, cancelled the event for Saturday, the final day of the outdoor festival, and promised ticket refunds.
All Nippon Airways has canceled local flights in response to the storm. Bullet train services were delayed, and speed limits at tunnels in Shizuoka were temporarily lowered as a cautionary measure. Authorities warned more train lines may be affected and roads blocked.
The world’s third largest economy has often seen deaths and injuries caused by seasonal storms and torrential rainfall that damage dams, blow off rooftops and down power lines.
Packing torrential rains, Tropical Storm Ana made landfall Monday in Madagascar before ploughing into Mozambique and Malawi. Rescue workers and authorities across the three countries were still assessing the full extent of the damage.
Two people were confirmed dead on Wednesday as heavy rains pounded southwest Japan, prompting flood and landslide warnings, and orders for 670,000 people to seek safety.
The Mogami River in Yamagata prefecture flooded four areas following an overnight downpour, leaving several towns inundated, chief government spokesman Yoshihide Suga said. Another river overflowed its banks in nearby Akita prefecture, he said.
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