Thu, 10 October 2019

Super Typhoon Hagibis is about to wreak biblical havoc upon Japan, including Tokyo and surrounds, bringing Noah-like rain, giant seas and rather stiff breezes, writes Spike.


OCEAN VIRULENCE: Typhoon Hagibis at 11am today as it heads for a direct hit. Photo Windy

The pinhole eye of the storm, which yesterday packed central pressure of 935mb (becoming the fastest and most extreme intensification of a cyclone in earth's recorded history when it jumped to 100kt winds in a 24 hour period) and hits Japan on 958mb with sustained 90kt gusts, will make landfall somewhere around Mutsusaka and Tokyo at around 1pm SA time on Saturday.

A wild, wind-smacked maelstrom of shifting sea-shapes will sink ships if they're stupid enough to still be at seaApart from the huge 16 metre at 16 second waves - as the underlying swell upon which shall be stacked every manner of wind-created chop and wavelet and stormsea - there will be an extra one metre of added pressure-induced storm surge grinding straight into those south-facing bays between the afore-mentioned cities. Major flooding, and infrastructural damage will hit the whole southern coastal area and right across the main island. And off the coast, a wild, wind-smacked maelstrom of shifting sea-shapes will sink ships if they're stupid enough to still be at sea.

As for the RWC games, well, let's see. New Zealand vs Italy in Toyota starting 6.45am? Well, the game (if they don't cancel * and call it a draw or postpone it) will start in 30kt neargale NNE winds with steady rain. During the game the wind will increase to well over galeforce to 46 kts, with torrential sideways rain. It will be All Black for both teams. While that's normal for the opposition, both teams are in danger of a common threat from the elements: force de majeur.


EINA! Serious carnage can be expected in central and northern Japan. Photo Windy

They do have a roof - a unique, fold-like-an-accordion that was apparently quite an engineering feet - but apparently, according to Wikipedia, not a very cost-effective method of protecting the athletes and fans from the elements - it was last closed in 2015 "due to extra costs for maintenance". The mayor of Toyota might want to revise the cost structure, but it appears its too late in this instance. *

As for the next match between England and France kicking off at 10.15am? All I can say is EINA! That match begins with wind gusts to 54 kts and a water deluge from the skies that fast becomes a catastrophic Noah-like flood in a giant swimming pool, assuming they can't close the roof (which they can't). Gusting 66kt hurricane-force winds may just might be turning the entire stadium into a giant flying saucer fish bowl with 75,000 gurgling humans sloshing about in it. *


RAIN RAIN GO AWAY: Come again another day, but for now, big big rain! Photo Windy

And then we come to Fukuoka Hakatanomori Stadium - a small little stadium seating 25,000 in the prefecture of Fukuoka, quite far to the west of Tokyo. Say Fukuoka fast with an "S" on the end in a South African bar, and some big guy will definitely moer you in the face: maybe several okes will.

Unfortunately, it looks like the weather Gods are going to moer the players in that match too, but only with a bit of wind. They're safe from storm surges, collapsing shorefronts and torrential rain. Ireland vs Samoa at 12.45, we can expect the mildest conditions of the lot *. Well, it will be blowing a literal northerly gale, but only 0.1mm or rain expected.

I don't know what "batten the hatches" mean in Japanese, but my dear friend Peach Blossom says it's "Hatchi o ateru!".


A BIT OF SWELL: A 16m swell plus a one metre storm surge is going to be interesting. Photo Windy


Saturday, 12 October

  • Pool A match between Ireland and Samoa in Fukuoka at 19:45 JST to be played as scheduled
  • Pool B match between New Zealand and Italy to be cancelled
  • Pool C match between England and France to be cancelled

The decision to cancel matches has not been taken lightly and has been made in the best interests of public, team, tournament personnel and volunteer safety, based on expert advice and detailed weather information. While we have extensively explored all options, public and team safety was our utmost priority as well as ensuring a consistent, fair and equitable outcome for all teams. All fans with tickets for a cancelled match will receive a full refund for the face value of their match tickets.

Sunday, 13 October

Every effort is being made to ensure Sunday’s matches will be played as scheduled. A thorough assessment of venues will take place after the typhoon has passed before a final decision is made on Sunday morning.

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