Western Japan, Korea: Severe Tropical Storm Krosa

1 dead as Severe Tropical Storm Krosa strikes Japan with flooding rain, strong winds

At least 40 people have been injured and hundreds of flights canceled as Severe Tropical Storm Krosa unleashes widespread torrential rain and locally damaging winds across Japan.

Around 3 p.m. Thursday, local time, Krosa moved ashore near Kure City in Hiroshima, according to the Japan Meteorological Agency.

This makes Krosa the third tropical cyclone to make landfall across mainland Japan in as many weeks following Typhoon Francisco and Tropical Storm Nari.

One person has been killed, according to The Japan Times. An 82-year-old man was killed after falling from a ship amid strong winds and rough seas in Onomichi.

Those injured during the storm span 13 prefectures.

Krosa Satellite 8.14 PM

Severe Tropical Storm Krosa on Thursday afternoon, local time, making landfall in southern Japan. (RAMMB)

Eighteen people were safely rescued after being stranded while camping on the bank of a swollen river in Oita, the Associated Press reported.

Despite weakening from a typhoon into a severe tropical storm earlier this week, Krosa remains a dangerous tropical cyclone as it moves across Japan.

Torrential rain and locally damaging winds will continue to accompany Krosa from central to northern Japan through Saturday. Seas around Japan will remain dangerously rough for swimmers and boaters.

Krosa Reuters Aug 15

High waves pound a beach in Miyazaki, southwestern Japan as typhoon Krosa approaches the country in this photo taken by Kyodo on August 13, 2019. (Kyodo/via REUTERS)

Krosa has already inundated Yanase in Kochi Prefecture on Shikoku with more than 820 mm (32 inches) of rain, as of Thursday evening. Out of that total, 124.5 mm (nearly 5 inches) and 60.5 mm (2.38 inches) poured down in 3 and 1 hours, respectively.

By the time the rain winds down by daybreak Friday, there can be an AccuWeather Local StormMax™ of 900 mm (35 inches) of rain in Shikoku and Kansai.

“Even when the rain ends, residents should remain vigilant for ongoing flooding and a continued risk for landslides as the mountain slopes will remain unstable from the inundation of rain,” according to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Kristina Pydynowski.

Friday through Saturday, the heaviest rain will spread from northern Chubu and western Tohoku to Hokkaido. Up to 150 mm (6 inches) of rain is expected in these areas, which can lead to areas of flash flooding and mudslides.

“Wind gusts of 65 to 95 km/h accompanying the rain can lead to minor wind damage and sporadic power outages through Saturday,” AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Dave Houk stated.

Between the heavy rain and gusty winds, more travel disruptions can be anticipated.

Japan TS Aug 15

Japan Airlines and All Nippon Airways announced the cancellation of around 100 flights for Wednesday in advance of Krosa’s arrival, according to The Japan Times. Over 700 flights were canceled for Thursday, according to NHK.

West Japan Railway suspended almost all of its Shinkansen bullet train services. Rail service between Shin-Osaka and Kokura were canceled, while those on Kyushu from Kokura to Hakata would be severely impacted. Central Japan Railway and Shikoku Railway also announced cancellation of some services.

Dangerous seas forced officials to cancel ferries connecting Shikoku to other parts of Japan.

The travel disruptions created chaos for the millions of people who returned to their hometowns to celebrate the Bon holiday, according to BBC News. During this Japanese holiday, people pay respect to their ancestors.

As many as 580,000 people were advised to evacuate ahead of Krosa, but The Japan Times stated that many did not heed those suggestions.

Memorial services to commemorate Thursday’s anniversary of Japan surrendering in World War II were also canceled due to the tropical storm.

While the worst of Krosa is expected to remain to the west and north of Tokyo, gusty winds can whip the city and its suburbs through Friday. Wind gusts of 50 to 65 km/h (30 to 40 mph) can lead to some travel delays and very sporadic power outages. Motorists and pedestrians should remain alert for downed tree branches.

Krosa will also bring the risk for downpours to the eastern Korean Peninsula and nearby parts of China and Russia.

“Following the departure of Krosa, more downpours can target and renew the risks for flash flooding in central and eastern Japan early next week,” according to Pydynowski.

AccuWeather meteorologists are also closely monitoring the western Pacific for additional tropical development next week.