Two people have died as Japan’s worst super storm in 60 years begins its battery of the country with people warned to prepare for rainfall the like of which ‘they have never experienced’.
Typhoon Hagibis hit land shortly before 3pm GMT with downpours and strong winds already bringing flooding and widespread disruption.
Across the Tokyo Bay in Chiba, a tornado ahead of the approaching storm overturned a car killing a man inside, city official Tatsuya Sakamaki said.
The Japan Meteorological Agency warned of dangerously heavy rainfall in Tokyo and surrounding areas. A coastal earthquake also rocked the area.
Meteorological agency official Yasushi Kajihara said: ‘Be ready for rainfall of the kind that you have never experienced.
‘Take all measures necessary to save your life.
He said those living near rivers should take shelter on the second floor or higher of any sturdy building if an officially designated evacuation centre was not easily accessible.
The army has been put on standby with an estimated 17,000 police and military troops called up, ready for rescue operations the government said.
Chiba is still recovering after being hit by a typhoon last month, suffering power outages and flooding and its people are bracing themselves for worse to come.
Geological Survey said a magnitude 5.3 quake centered in the ocean off the Chiba coast was 37 miles deep and likely to cause less damage than those nearer the surface.
Firefighters said the two men working at a river canal in Shizuoka were swept away as they tried to control overflowing waters. One of the men has since been rescued.
The Yomiuri newspaper has put the casualty toll at two dead, three missing and 62 injured with more than 170,000 people evacuated.
According to the Tokyo Electric Power Co more than 370,000 homes have suffered power outages as a result of the typhoon
Yusuke Ikegaya, a Shizuoka resident who evacuated ahead of the storm, said he was surprised the nearby river was about to overflow in the morning, hours before the typhoon made landfall.
‘In the 28 years of my life, this is the first time I’ve had to evacuate even before a typhoon has landed,’ he said.