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Causes of Typhoon Hagibis and The Impacts of Mitigation Methods

by Grace Sabathya

Nature provides all kinds of sources of life needed by living creatures, including humans. As we know, humans are living creature that give the most impacts for the changes happened. However, these changes don’t always have positive impacts, there are even some impacts better known as natural disasters. Natural disasters are the greatest natural danger that all living creatures, especially humans, must face. No wonder natural disasters will always cause losses both materially and spiritually.

There are various types of natural disasters that are commonly faced by all living creatures such as floods, volcanic eruptions, tsunamis, earthquakes, landslides, snowfall, drought, hail, tornadoes, fires and many more. From some examples of natural disasters, there are already predictable events so that people who live near the disaster area can prepare themselves to avoid these natural disasters. But some can even take place suddenly without prior notification, such as an earthquake.

In general, natural disasters are divided into meteorological natural disasters, geological natural disasters, epidemics and natural disasters from space. Meteorological or hydrometeorological natural disasters are natural disasters that have a relationship with climate, do not occur in certain places, for example there are some places that are experiencing flooding but in other places are experiencing droughts or storms. Geological natural disasters are natural disasters occuring on the surface of the earth, such as earthquakes, landslides, volcanic eruptions and tsunamis. While outbreaks are infectious diseases that can spread through human populations on a large scope such as between countries and continents. Natural disasters from outer space are the arrival of various celestial bodies, such as asteroids and solar storms.

Speaking of meteorological natural disasters, Japan recently experienced an attack from a large typhoon called typhoon hagibis. Of course, typhoon hagibis devastated most of the regions in Japan. For those who don’t know, on this occasion we will discuss more about the causes of typhoon hagibis and the impacts of mitigation methods.

Definition of Typhoon Hagibis and Causes

Now we will discuss the causes of typhoon hagibis and the impacts of mitigation methods. The name Hagibis comes from the Tagalog language which is Philippine language that means speed. The hagibis can be said to be a large and very strong tropical cyclone in the world. This typhoon has become famous since hitting Japan, precisely in the Kanto region on October 12, 2019. Previously this area was also hit by typhoon Ida in 1958, but not as severe as Typhoon Hagibis. This typhoon Hagibis began to form from tropical waves that were several hundred miles north of the Marshall Islands around October 2. Gradually the tropical waves began to turn into tropical storms on October 5 and at the same time began to move westward.

Then this tropical storm entered the stage of rapid intensification until it reached its peak on October 7. About three days of persisting in conditions of peak intensity, the storm began to weaken Hagibis due to unfavorable environmental influences. On October 12, Hagibis made it to the mainland precisely on the Izu Peninsula and entered into category 2 – equivalent at around 19:00 local time. It was noted that the average speed of the Hagibis storm was around 225 km / h moving towards the east coast of the main island of Japan.

Japanase Meteorological Agency (JMA) stated that if the typhoon Hagibis was a fierce storm but weakened when it hit the land and turned into a very strong typhoon. Weakening of Hagibis results in drier air and cooler sea surface temperatures. JMA also said that Hagibis was in category 4 to category 5 according to the Saffir Simpson scale. The size of typhoon Hagibis alone reached 1,398 kilometers or half of the Japanese Islands.

Impact of Typhoon Hagibis

Typhoon Hagibis caused high-intensity rainfall in almost all places in Japan including in Tokyo. This high rainfall caused flooding and even submerged hundreds of homes in Tokyo to landslides in several areas in Japan. Strong winds also managed to destroy several houses, no wonder as a result of this typhoon Hagibis more than 1 million Japanese citizens evacuated to safer places.

Typhoon Hagibis also hit Tokyo, not surprisingly, many factories temporarily closed until Typhoon Hagibis subsided including Honda and Toyota factories. Not only that, Tokyo Disneyland was also closed for the first time since 1984 due to typhoon Hagibis. And for the safety of all transportation services such as at Haneda and Narita International Airport in Tokyo to fast train services heading to the airport, inner-city trains or the Tokyo Metropolitan Area operated by JR East were temporarily suspended due to the storm of Hagibis that was ravaging Japan.

Not only that, on that same day Japan became a place to hold a world-level rugby match, namely between England vs France and Italy vs. New Zealand, forced to be canceled and considered to end in a draw. Besides rugby, the qualifying round for the Formula 1 race held at the Suzuka Circuit also had to be canceled. In addition, Typhoon Hagibis also caused hundreds of injuries, dozens lost and 40 people died.

Typhoon Hagibis Mitigation

Since it was known that Typhoon Hagibis was going to cross mainland Japan, the Japanese government began to make many preparations, one of which urged the entire community to buy food and beverage supplies until Typhoon Hagibis subsided. Not surprisingly, most supermarkets in the Tokyo area run out of food, bottled water, batteries and anything related to natural disasters.

For security reasons during Typhoon Hagibis, the government cut off water supplies and electricity in almost all parts of Japan, including Tokyo itself. No wonder Tokyo had been paralyzed for several days.

To speed up the disaster management process, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe formed a special disaster management team to deal with the devastating effects of typhoon Hagibis. The team consists of staff from various ministries with the main focus of overcoming the negative effects of Hagibis including restoring electricity and water supply. Not only that, the team must also ensure that refugees must get good services.

Not only that, more than 100 thousand rescue workers including 31 thousand military personnel carried out excavations to find victims of buried landslides. It was confirmed that most of the victims died from Typhoon Hagibis due to drowning due to flooding and landslides buried. Rescuers also evacuated thousands of residents from flooded areas using rubber boats and helicopters. In the Kawagoe area, rescue workers also evacuated hundreds of elderly people from a nursing home where conditions were almost submerged by flooding.

That is the explanation of the causes of typhoon hagibis and the impacts of mitigation methods. Hopefully we can learn from Japan in tackling natural disasters that might happen in Indonesia.

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