Typhoon Hagibis is stirring powerful 190mph winds in the Pacific Ocean and is expected to batter Japan in Tokyo later this week. Hagibis will hit Japan later this week, and as such, the country is now on alert. The terrifying typhoon was recently hailed as the “most powerful storm in the world” by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in the US. The storm, which quickly exploded into fruition earlier last week, will trail through the Pacific Ocean with wind speeds exceeding 160mph, and is set to take a northwestern turn later this week. When it does so, Hagibis is expected to weaken, but the “violent storm” has Japan on alert.
The US military’s Joint Typhoon Warning Centre (JTWC) observed higher sustained winds of 160mph.
The storm was tracking near the Ogasawara islands on Wednesday afternoon.
Hagibis is now approaching Japan’s main island of Honshu after a rapid intensification in the Pacific.
Terrifying forecasts indicate the super typhoon could make a direct pass over the Kanto region.
WATCH live webcam of Typhoon Hagibis arriving to Shirahama Ohama Beach
Hagibis is forecast to continue moving toward Honshu, weakening only slightly before a possible landfall.
The exact path of Hagibis remains unclear and forecasters are exploring multiple options.
One track could see Hagibis turn to the west toward central Japan or the east toward the sea.
However, large size means areas not facing a direct hit could still be significantly impacted.
The storm was recently upgraded to a “Super Typhoon”, which means it is churning at the strength of a Category 4 hurricane, the second strongest a storm can be on the Saffir-Simpson scale.
At this strength, Hagibis would cause “catastrophic” damage on landfall, tearing apart buildings and posing a threat to life.
One expert recently explained the typhoon has rapidly strengthened in one “explosive” movement.
Robert Speta, a US Navy meteorologist and typhoon specialist, said the storm recently gathered steam in an “explosive intensification.”
He said: “The storm went from a tropical storm to a violent typhoon in a matter of hours.
“In fact, it was a historic amount of intensification in such a short time.
“This only happens when all the right ingredients are in place. Like if you had a fire and instead of throwing gasoline on it to make it bigger you also grabbed some lighter fluid, a bit of oil and a couple of aerosol cans for good measure.”
The Japan Meteorological Agency today released an “unusual” pre-warning for Typhoon Hagibis.
The JMA traditionally releases a warning the day before a damaging storm is expected to make landfall.
However, today’s warning comes three days early, as the agency expects Hagibis will hit from October 12 and 13.
They warned the typhoon could smash Japan’s east coast with similar strength to Typhoon Faxai, which hit last month.