TOKYO — Typhoon Nanmadol brought torrential rain and the risk of destructive landslides to Japan’s southernmost main island Sunday, and more than 8 million people were ordered to evacuate and seek shelter from the powerful storm, which was expected to traverse virtually the entire length of the country.
Some areas of the southern island, Kyushu, were expected to receive 20 inches of rain or more, an amount not seen in the area in decades, officials said. While the heavy rain was viewed as the primary threat to residents’ safety, winds exceeding 110 mph were also recorded, causing heavy waves.
A total of nearly 8 million people in about 3.7 million households were ordered to evacuate from areas in southern and western Japan, according to NHK, the national broadcaster.
Thousands of people sought safety in shelters, and power was knocked out for about 190,000 households. Kyushu’s entire bullet-train service was suspended, and hundreds of domestic flights were canceled. By Sunday evening, a small number of injuries had been reported but no deaths.
Meteorological officials warned that the storm could be more damaging than Typhoon Jebi, which killed about a dozen people in Japan in 2018, and Typhoon Hagibis, the strongest storm to hit the country’s mainland in decades, which caused widespread flooding and landslides in 2019 and killed about 100 people.
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida was scheduled to depart Japan on Monday afternoon to attend the U.N. General Assembly in New York, but he was planning to delay his flight, according to NHK, the public broadcaster. Kishida will make a final decision on his trip after assessing the damage, NHK reported.
After passing over Okinawa, a southern Japanese archipelago, on Sunday Nanmadol weakened somewhat and became a “very strong typhoon” as it neared mainland Japan, the meteorological agency said.
It had been classified as a “violent typhoon,” the agency’s most severe category of storm based on wind speeds. The Joint Typhoon Warning Center, a U.S. military command in Hawaii, also issued a storm advisory, designating Nanmadol a “super typhoon” this past week.
The storm was projected to curve northeastward and trace almost the entire length of the main islands that make up Japan. Nearly the entire country was in the storm warning area designated by the agency.
The storm will probably head back to sea Wednesday or Thursday, according to the meteorological agency.
This article originally appeared in The New York Times.