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Typhoon Halong Hits Japan Causing Floods And Evacuations

Typhoon Halong - now a tropical storm - made landfall in Japan, and is continuing to drop what's being called an unprecedented amount of rain.

Typhoon Halong Hits Japan Causing Floods And Evacuations
NASA

The third super typhoon of 2014 hit Japan on Saturday, causing massive flooding and at least one death. 

Typhoon Halong, which has since been downgraded to a tropical storm, made landfall in southern Japan and triggered landslides in Kōchi Prefecture.

According to the Japan Meteorological Agency — as of Sunday evening, all of Japan was under an advisory because of the storm, with a warning issued for the greater part of Honshu, including the capital, Tokyo.

"We are about to be done with it, just a little more rainfall. In fact Tokyo, you'll be seeing the heaviest of the rain as this begins to scoot off to the north and east."   

As The Washington Post reports, Halong was actually fairly mild before intensifying, "from a weak typhoon with winds of 75 mph to a massive super typhoon with winds of 150 mph within a period of 24 hours."

The amount of rain being dropped on parts of Japan has been described by multiple outlets as unprecedented, but the storm itself is not— it's actually the second super typhoon to hit Japan this summer. 

A month ago, Typhoon Neoguri reached super typhoon status a few days before making landfall in southern Japan where it caused 3 deaths, despite being downgraded to a tropical storm before reaching Kyushu.

For a quick refresher, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, a typhoon becomes a super typhoon when it reaches "maximum sustained 1-minute surface winds" of 65 meters per second, or around 150 mph. 

But some analysts say it's the rain that can cause the bulk of the damage. 

"The rain is very hard to protect against when these flashes and landslides hit there's very little these communities can do to build to withstand that so it's really a case of evacuating those who are most vulnerable."

Hundreds of thousands of people have been ordered to evacuate towns in central Japan where the heaviest rain is set to fall.

This video contains images from NASA.