Francisco weakening, but some Izu Oshima residents are evacuating

News & Views - October 24th, 2013

It looks like Japan will be spared from Typhoon Francisco’s onslaught as it changes course.

It appears that the storm will merely graze the island as it moves towards the northeast.

The nation braced for the tropical cyclone, which peaked in intensity over the weekend with maximum sustained winds of 160 mph, just a week after Tokyo and Izu Oshima island took a direct hit from Typhoon Wipha.

Ahead of the expected deluge, dozens of people evacuated homes in storm-battered Izu Oshima island, about 120 km south of the capital. Flash flood warnings are in place.

By Wednesday, Francisco weakened in the western Pacific Ocean and is was downgraded to a Category 1 typhoon. The storm will continue to lose intensity over the coming days as it moves northeast.

Periods of heavy rain and tropical-storm force wind gusts are still expected to impact much of Japan as the storm’s center will remain east of Okinawa. The most probable path of the storm will take it to the east and southeast of Tokyo.

As much as 150-250 mm (6-10 inches) of rain are expected between Miyazaki and Oshaka. The storm will also drop between 25-75 mm (1-3 inches) of rainfall on the Tokyo Metropolitan Area, one of the hardest hit by Typhoon Wipha.

Super typhoon Lekima, moving northward in open waters of the Pacific, will be pulling Francisco southward. Lekima developed into a super typhoon Wednesday and is thought to be the strongest typhoon this year.

By Maesie Bertumen