Here’s everything you need to know about the strongest typhoons in Japan. Read on to find out!
Tropical cyclones, which also include hurricanes, include typhoons. According to the US Department of Commerce’s National Ocean Service, meteorologists define these storms as a “rotating, organized system of clouds and storms that develops over tropical or subtropical water and has confined low-level circulation.”
Typhoons can form above seas if the proper balance of moisture, altitude, and temperature exists.
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The typhoon season in Japan normally lasts from May to October, although the deadliest months are said to be August and September. Typhoons over the Pacific usually form in the southwest corner of the water east of the Philippines.
They go up “typhoon alley,” an oceanic ridge that funnels storms into Asia before sweeping them back out again. A storm can safely diminish after it settles over the ocean.
This indicates that Japan is located directly at Typhoon Alley’s westernmost boundary. In instance, Okinawa sits directly in the path and experiences around seven of these storms year. There is minimal to no risk if a typhoon avoids land although fishermen are supposed to be cautious .
When a typhoon veers and touches down on land, the risk of a catastrophic disaster increases dramatically. Even while the overall number of storms over the ocean can be substantially higher, this typically happens fewer than ten times a year.
Strongest Typhoons in Japan
Typhoon-Like Storms in Japan
During early winter storms brought on by low-pressure systems in the Pacific Ocean, Japan may also experience typhoon-force winds.
One such storm, which occurred in December 2004, had wind gusts as high as 172 km/h, which led to ships running aground and building roofs being torn off.
Summer rains in Japan can also provide typhoon-like downpours, especially when the system stalls over mountainous terrain.
Three persons were murdered and dozens of residences were inundated by tsunami-like waves that were formed in the Japanese Sea in Toyama Prefecture by a storm in February 2008.
A fisherman whose boat capsized was among the fatalities, as was a man who died of asphyxiation in a snow-covered car.
The greatest post-war typhoon occurred in September 1947 with Typhoon Kathleen. When it hit the Kanto region, the Tonegawa and Arakawa rivers’ banks overflowed, flooding 380,000 homes. Around 1,900 people lost their lives.
One of the worst typhoons ever was the Isewan in 1959. It left 5,098 individuals dead or missing. In 1945, the Makurazaki Typhoon claimed 3,756 lives. In October 1979, a typhoon killed 115 people.
Typhoons killed several hundred people in 1983. In the Sanin region, there were 117 of them who were victims of the torrential rain.
Typhoon 11 slammed the Tokyo region in late August 2001, resulting in 6 fatalities, 26 injuries, and the suspension of Honda and Toyota’s vehicle production. Danes, a typhoon that hit the Tokyo area in mid-September of that year, left 21 people injured and 5 dead.
After the major Shinkansen route between Osaka, Nagoya, and Tokyo was shut down, and over 52,000 people were left with no choice but to stay the night on trains and stations.
A powerful typhoon that hits the Kanto region might inundate 900,000 dwellings and have an impact on 2.4 million people.
Typhoon Isewan Was The Strongest Typhoon Recorded in 1950
In 1950, Isewan, one of the deadliest deadly typhoons ever recorded, killed 5,000 people while raising the sea level by approximately 5m along the shore.
Since the mid-1800s, Isewan was the most powerful typhoon ever recorded.
The issue, though, was with the evacuation protocols; it’s thought that as less as 250 people might have perished if the right measures had been taken. As a result, new techniques were implemented locally to help municipal governments react to such calamities more effectively.
According to experts, the number of deaths might have been as low as 250 if strict evacuation protocols had been followed.
Weather observatories had already been issuing a warning seven hours first before cyclone made landfall and had already accurately forecast the typhoon’s strength and direction.
The hardest affected city was Nagoya. The local police there operated independently and only gave evacuation orders to residents of certain districts, and even then, only when the wind and rain were at their strongest.
Contrarily, the previous town of Kuso in Mie Prefecture issued an evacuation order four hours prior to the storm’s arrival, and despite the town’s devastation, no lives were lost.
Typhoon Ida 1945 Also Known As Makurazaki Typhoon
Typhoon Ida was one of the deadliest and most powerful typhoons of the 1945 Pacific typhoon season. It struck Japan in the final months of World War II, and the damage and loss of life it caused added to the already significant challenges faced by the Japanese population during that time.
Here is an overview of Typhoon Ida (1945):
Date: The typhoon occurred in September 1945.
Impact: Typhoon Ida made landfall near the city of Makurazaki on Kyushu, the southernmost of Japan’s main islands. The storm brought torrential rains, destructive winds, and a powerful storm surge, causing severe damage to infrastructure, homes, and agricultural lands in the affected regions.
Casualties: The typhoon’s impact was devastating, and the death toll is estimated to be between 3,000 to 4,000 people, with thousands more injured. The destruction worsened the already dire situation in Japan as the country was dealing with the aftermath of the war.
Historical context: Typhoon Ida’s occurrence in 1945 was significant not only for its intensity but also because it coincided with the final stages of World War II. In August 1945, Japan had already surrendered after the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and the country was facing immense challenges in the aftermath of the war. The typhoon compounded the difficulties for the Japanese population and authorities as they tried to cope with the destruction and loss of life caused by the storm.
Typhoon Ida (1945) remains an important event in Japan’s history, as it symbolizes the difficult times the country endured during the final months of World War II and the subsequent efforts to rebuild and recover from the war’s devastation. The storm’s impact serves as a reminder of the power and destructive potential of natural disasters and their far-reaching consequences.
Typhoon Ida 1958
Because super typhoon Helena had just made landfall a week earlier, super typhoon Ida in 1958 inflicted enormous destruction. 50,000 dwellings were inundated by Helena, and the soil never had a chance to heal.
Rain rained at its fastest speed in 60 years from Kanto up through Tohoku, producing and over 1,900 mudslides and sweeping out entire villages. 1,200 people died and almost 500,000 became homeless.
Ida served as the starting point for the nation’s current subterranean infrastructure, which comprises of stories-high underground pipes like Ring Road No. 7 Underground Regulating Reservoir under Tokyo, for rerouting floodwater in cities.
Typhoon Vera (1959)
With very little time to recuperate from Ida and Helena, Japan was hit by Super Typhoon Vera, the most expensive typhoon in history, just one year later, in 1959.
This time, Nagoya sustained the most harm as approximately 150,000 homes were destroyed as entire sections of the coast close to the city crumbled under the storm’s waves.
The destruction of agriculture and infrastructure was significant, and the water supply remained contaminated for months. Amazingly, 5,000 people perished, and the damage was in the range of $500-600 billion. Nearly 1.6 million people were left homeless (USD 1.67 billion as of 2007).
In Japan, 2004 set a record for typhoon activity with ten storms making landfall—the most since World War II.
One after another, across the nation, homes were destroyed, people perished, were trapped in buildings, or were trapped under landslide, and this occurred before the 23rd typhoon of the season made landfall.
Tokage, a typhoon, inundated 21,000 dwellings and severely damaged both agriculture and infrastructure.
It makes sense that typhoons pose a threat to Japan more than the country’s dreaded earthquakes given all of this destruction.
Typhoon Track starting with the blue, tokage Since data on typhoons began to be kept in 1951, an aggregate of 2.6 typhoons have came ashore on Japan’s four main islands.
In the years 1984, 1986, 2000, and 2008, no typhoons made landfall. In 2004, a record 10 storms touched down.
These typhoons result in fatalities and injuries, the closing of factories, and the disruption of transportation and flights. In many cases, severe rainstorms are more destructive than powerful winds. The deceased typically perish in landslides or drown in floods.
Typhoon No. 23 in Japan in 2004
Typhoon Tokage hit Japan in October 2004, killing 90 people, wounding over 500, and causing $10 billion in losses.
382 homes were damaged or destroyed, while over 21,000 homes were flooded.
The tenth and last typhoon to hit Japan’s main islands, it was also the worst in twenty-five years.
Typhoon Tokage, officially known as typhoon No. 23, made an especially severe impact on the Kochi prefecture, causing particularly severe damage in places where it connected with an autumn rain front.
Bridge, road, and other infrastructure damage resulted in losses of almost $5 billion.
Most of the fatalities were caused by landslides or floods. Over two – third of them had reached 60 years of age or older.
Over 700 mudslides and landslides occurred. A total of 600 people evacuate and return home. Many people were located in places where rivers breached levees, flooding sizable areas.
Typhoon No. 22 (Typhoon Ma-on), which devastated Tokyo earlier in the month and killed six people, was still wrecking havoc in Japan when Typhoon No. 23 made landfall.
Rain fell at a rate of 69 millimetres per hour and gusts from No. 22 reached 243 kilometres per hour.
When that storm lingered over Tokyo, the city was shut down for a day.
10.3 typhoons every year, on average, come within 300 kilometres of Japan’s coast. Seasons with many typhoons are those in which 12 or more make landfall in this region.
Super Typhoon Hinnamnor (2022)
According to Bloomberg, Super Typhoon Hinnamnor, the deadliest storm on record for the year 2022, is now sweeping over the East China Sea at a speed of roughly 160 mph (257 kph). On Sunday, Hinnamnor developed in the Pacific.
The storm threatens Japan’s southern islands with strong, unexpected winds that are travelling at rates of above 195 miles per hour. Wild winds have a chance of sweeping China’s east coast. The eleventh tropical storm of the year will be Hinnamnor. The highest major wave height of Super Typhoon Hinnamnor, as determined by the United States Joint Typhoon Warning Center, is 50 feet or 15 metres.
Super Typhoon Hinnamnor, the worst storm ever recorded for the year 2022, is currently moving through the East China Sea at a pace of about 160 mph, according to Bloomberg (257 kph). Hinnamnor formed in the Pacific on Sunday.
Strong, unforeseen gusts from the storm, which are moving at speeds of 195 miles per hour, are posing a threat to Japan’s southern islands. China’s east coast may see violent gusts.
Hinnamnor will be the tenth tropical storm of the year. According to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center of the United States, Super Typhoon Hinnamnor’s greatest main wave height is 50 feet or 15 metres.
Typhoon Jebi (2018)
Typhoon Jebi made landfall on September 4, 2018, in the southern part of Japan’s main island, Honshu.
It then moved across the western part of the country, causing widespread power outages and disrupting transportation.
The storm also triggered landslides and flooding in some areas, and prompted evacuations for more than 1 million people.
The Kansai International Airport, one of Japan’s busiest airports, was hit particularly hard by the storm.
The airport’s runways and terminal buildings were flooded, and a tanker ship was pushed into the bridge connecting the airport to the mainland, rendering it unusable for several days.
The closure of the airport affected thousands of travelers and caused significant economic losses.
In addition to the physical damage, Typhoon Jebi also had a significant impact on Japan’s economy.
The storm disrupted business operations and caused a temporary shutdown of some manufacturing facilities, leading to supply chain disruptions and delays.
Overall, Typhoon Jebi was a devastating natural disaster that highlighted the vulnerability of Japan’s infrastructure to extreme weather events.
The Japanese government has since taken steps to improve disaster preparedness and infrastructure resilience, including the installation of flood barriers and other protective measures.
Strongest Typhoons in Japan: FAQs
What is the strongest typhoon that hit Japan?
The strongest typhoon on record to have hit Japan is Typhoon Tip.
It formed in the Western Pacific Ocean in October 1979 and reached its peak intensity with a minimum pressure of 870 millibars and maximum sustained winds of 305 km/h (190 mph) on October 12th.
Fortunately, Typhoon Tip did not make landfall in Japan, but its outer bands brought heavy rains and strong winds to the country, causing flooding and landslides in some areas.
The storm eventually dissipated over the northern Pacific Ocean, but not before causing significant damage to ships and oil rigs in the region.
Despite not hitting Japan directly, Typhoon Tip is still remembered as one of the most powerful and dangerous typhoons in history.
Its intensity and size were unprecedented, and it remains the most intense tropical cyclone on record globally.
What is the deadliest typhoons in Japan?
Typhoon Vera, also known as the Isewan Typhoon, was one of the deadliest typhoons in Japan’s history, causing extensive damage and flooding in the Ise Bay region and leading to the deaths of at least 5,098 people.
Another deadly typhoon was Typhoon Mireille in 1991, which caused widespread damage and flooding and led to the deaths of at least 50 people.
Typhoon Maria in 2018 caused significant damage and flooding in western Japan, leading to the deaths of at least 16 people.
How many people died in Typhoon Vera?
Typhoon Vera, also known as Typhoon Olive, was the deadliest typhoon to hit Japan in the 20th century. It made landfall in Kyushu on September 14, 1959, and caused widespread damage and flooding.
The official death toll was 4,692, but some estimates put the number as high as 10,000.
Typhoon Vera was a Category 5 typhoon, with sustained winds of 185 mph. It brought torrential rains and high winds, which caused widespread flooding and mudslides. The storm also caused widespread power outages and damage to infrastructure.
The death toll from Typhoon Vera was so high because the storm hit during the night, when many people were asleep. The storm also hit a region that was not well-prepared for a major typhoon.
The aftermath of Typhoon Vera was a time of great hardship for the people of Japan. Many people were left homeless, and there was widespread food and water shortages.
The Japanese government was slow to respond to the disaster, and many people felt that they were not adequately helped.
Typhoon Vera was a major tragedy for Japan, but it also led to some important changes.
The Japanese government made improvements to its disaster preparedness system, and it also began to build more typhoon shelters.
Typhoon Vera also helped to raise awareness of the dangers of typhoons, and it led to more research into how to mitigate the effects of these storms.
What city did Typhoon Vera hit?
Typhoon Vera hit Nagoya, Japan, on September 26, 1959. Nagoya is the capital of Aichi Prefecture and the third-largest city in Japan.
The typhoon caused widespread damage in Nagoya, including flooding, power outages, and structural damage.
The official death toll in Nagoya was 3,168, but some estimates put the number of dead as high as 5,000.
The typhoon also caused extensive damage to property in Nagoya, with over 149,000 homes destroyed or damaged. The economic cost of the typhoon in Nagoya was estimated at over $1 billion (in 1959 dollars).
Nagoya was one of the hardest-hit cities by Typhoon Vera, but the typhoon also caused damage to other cities in Japan, including Osaka, Kyoto, and Kobe.
The total death toll from Typhoon Vera was over 4,600, and the economic cost of the typhoon was estimated at over $1 billion.