TOKYO — Canada will leave the Rugby World Cup winless for the second straight tournament, with the weather tying its hands this time.
Typhoon Hagibis: Two dead as most powerful storm for decades hits Japan
Tournament organizers decided to cancel Canadas final Pool B game against Namibia because of Typhoon Hagibis. The game was due to take place Sunday in Kamaishi (late Saturday night in Canada).
World Rugby issued a statement saying an evacuation order remained in place in the Kamaishi area and there had been landslides and flooding in the vicinity of the stadium.
“The safety of all involved in Rugby World Cup 2019 is our primary consideration and fans are advised not to travel to Kamaishi or the venue, which will be closed,” World Rugby said.
Namibia-Canada Rugby World Cup match cancelled due to typhoon
Two of Saturdays three scheduled games were cancelled well before the destructive typhoon made landfall and organizers will assess conditions in Yokohama before making a decision on Japans last Pool A game against Scotland later Sunday.
Yasushi Kajihara, from Japans meteorological agency, said: “Be ready for rainfall of the kind that you have never experienced. Take all measures necessary to save your life.”
Video: Super-typhoon Hagibis tears through Japan toward Tokyo | DW News
Two of Saturdays three scheduled games — New Zealand against Italy and England against France — were cancelled well before the destructive typhoon made landfall. Organizers will assess conditions in Yokohama before making a decision on Japans last Pool A game against Scotland later Sunday.
Organisers of the Japanese Formula One Grand Prix have cancelled all practice and qualifying sessions, while two matches of the Rugby World Cup have also been scratched.
Canada, ranked 22nd in the world, had targeted the game against No. 23 Namibia as its best chance at a victory.
Authorities issued evacuation advisories and orders for more than 6 million people across the country as the storm unleashed the heaviest rain and winds in years. Some 80 injuries have been reported so far, while more than 270,000 households lost power, NHK said.
Both teams had previously lost to No. 1 New Zealand, No. 5 South Africa and No. 12 Italy. While the teams were tied at two points apiece, Namibia finished fourth in the pool ahead of Canada on points difference (minus-141 for Namibia and minus-163 for Canada).
“We completely understand the decision given the conditions were facing here,” Canadian media manager Gareth Rees said in a video showing the wind-whipped waves on Kamaishi.
“Damage from floods and landslides is likely taking place already,” an agency official told a news conference carried by NHK. “It is critical that people take action urgently to protect their lives and the lives of loved ones.”
Video: Tokyo braces for powerful Typhoon Hagibis
“Following extensive discussions with World Rugby, Kamaishi City and Iwate Prefecture, during which we considered every possibility to make this game happen, in the end we had no option but to cancel the match to ensure the safety of the fans, team, volunteers, and all others involved,” organizing committee chief executive Akira Shimazu said.
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“It was both a difficult and emotional decision to make, however I feel its the right decision and firmly believe both domestic and foreign fans will understand the decision was made to ensure safety.”
The Canadian men, who went 0-4-0 at the 2015 tournament, have not won a game at the world Cup since a 25-20 victory over Tonga at the 2011 competition. They have lost their last eight tournament matches, outscored 387-87 in the process.
Video: Typhoon Hagibis lashes Tokyo and large parts of Japan
The Japan Meteorological Agency had forecast the typhoon to be the worst to hit Japan in six decades. It brought heavy rainfall in wide areas of Japan all day ahead of its landfall early Saturday evening, and continued to batter parts of the main island with heavy winds and torrents of rain overnight.
An earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 5.7 shook the areas drenched by the rainfall, shortly before the typhoon made landfall in Shizuoka prefecture.
PreviousNextHide captionToggle Fullscreen1 of 0 commentsThe most powerful typhoon to hit Tokyo in decades plowed into northern Japan early on Sunday after fierce rain and wind paralyzed the capital, leading to four deaths as rivers flooded and normally busy streets were deserted.
Authorities lifted rain and flood warnings for the Kanto region around a becalmed Tokyo before dawn on Sunday, but imposed them on areas further north after Typhoon Hagibis blasted through the capital.
Attention focused on Fukushima, where Tokyo Electric Power Co overnight reported irregular readings from sensors monitoring water in its Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, which was crippled by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami.
Its unknown if the water will recede if the river overflows and if it does they will be playing in a swamp not a field which neither side will call it a fair game if they lose. Even before the game starts I doubt the team or spectators will reach the stadium in the first place in those conditions.
Three people died in Chiba, Gunma and Kanagawa prefectures surrounding Tokyo, while a man in his 60s was found with no vital signs in a flooded apartment in Kawasaki, public broadcaster NHK said. Seventeen were missing early Sunday, it said.
2019 Rugby World Cup: Japan complete captains run as Typhoon Hagibis strikes
Authorities issued evacuation advisories and orders for more than six million people across the country as the storm unleashed the heaviest rain and winds in years. Some 80 injuries have been reported so far, while more than 270,000 households lost power, NHK said.
Tornado hits in Japan as country braces itself for typhoon
The storm, which the government said could be the strongest to hit Tokyo since 1958, brought record-breaking rainfall in many areas, including the popular resort town of Hakone, which was hit with 94 centimetres of rain over 24 hours.
Hagibis, which means "speed" in the Philippine language Tagalog, made landfall on Japan's main island of Honshu on Saturday evening. A magnitude 5.7 earthquake shook Tokyo shortly after.
Even as the typhoon moved away from the capital late on Saturday, one expert warned of further flooding as several surrounding prefectures began releasing water from dams, letting it flow downstream.
Typhoon Hagibis, closing in from the Pacific, is expected to bring up to 80 centimetres of rain in the Tokyo area, including Chiba to the north that had suffered power outages from a typhoon that hit last month, and some buildings remained partly repaired.
Typhoon No. 19 makes landfall; JMA issues Level 5 rain warning：The Asahi Shimbun
"The situation is now worse than this evening," Nobuyuki Tsuchiya, director of the Japan Riverfront Research Centre, told Reuters. About 1.5 million people in Tokyo live below sea level.
The Japan Meteorological Agency issued the highest alert level for 12 prefectures, warning of potential for once in decades rain totals. It lifted the alerts early Sunday.
"Damage from floods and landslides is likely taking place already," an agency official told a news conference carried by NHK. "It is critical that people take action urgently to protect their lives and the lives of loved ones."
Just last month, another strong storm, Typhoon Faxai, destroyed or damaged 30,000 houses in Chiba, east of Tokyo, and caused extensive power outages.
If it was a really good wind, Hagibis would erase the muscle memory of every combatant, replacing it with a “must tackle low” obsession, so in the playoff stages the RWC can flower like Japanese cherry trees.
The capital's main airports, Haneda and Narita, stopped flights from landing and connecting trains were suspended, forcing the cancellation of more than a thousand flights.
Train operators suspended bullet train services extensively, while many train and subway lines in Tokyo were also down for most of Saturday. Usually bustling entertainment and shopping districts such as Shibuya and Ginza were deserted.
Tokyo Disneyland was closed on Saturday, its first weather-related closure since 1984, and supermarkets ran out of bottled water, batteries and other disaster-related goods.
Many people in and around Tokyo took shelter in temporary evacuation facilities early, before the worst of the storm arrived.
Yuka Ikemura, a 24-year-old nursery school teacher, was in one such facility at a community centre in eastern Tokyo with her three-year-old son, eight-month-old daughter and their pet rabbit.
3 dead, 11 missing as powerful Typhoon Hagibis rips through Japan
"I've got small children to take care of and we live on the first floor of an old apartment," Ikemura told Reuters.
"We brought with us the bare necessities. I'm scared to think about when we will have run out of diapers and milk."
Japanese Formula One Grand Prix organizers cancelled all practice and qualifying sessions scheduled for Saturday. Two matches of the Rugby World Cup due to be played on Saturday — including a matched between Canada and Namibia — were also cancelled.
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Deadly Typhoon Hagibis lashes Japan, millions told to evacuate
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