Typhoon Hagibis

Typhoon Hagibis, known in Japan as Typhoon No.19 or Reiwa 1 East Japan Typhoon (令和元年東日本台風, Reiwa Gannen Higashi-Nihon Taifū),[2] was a large and costly tropical cyclone that caused widespread destruction in Japan. The thirty-eighth depression, ninth typhoon, and third super typhoon of the 2019 Pacific typhoon season, it was the strongest typhoon to strike mainland Japan in decades, and one of the largest typhoons ever recorded, with a peak gale-force diameter of 825 nautical miles (949 mi; 1,528 km). The typhoon raised global media attention, as it greatly affected the 2019 Rugby World Cup being hosted by Japan.[3] Hagibis was also the deadliest typhoon to strike Japan since Typhoon Fran in 1976.[4]

Typhoon Hagibis
Violent typhoon (JMA scale)
Category 5 super typhoon (SSHWS)
Typhoon Hagibis at peak intensity in Northern Mariana Islands on October 7.
Formed4 October 2019
Dissipated22 October 2019
(Extratropical after 13 October)
Highest winds10-minute sustained: 195 km/h (120 mph)
1-minute sustained: 295 km/h (185 mph)
Lowest pressure915 hPa (mbar); 27.02 inHg
Fatalities121 total, 3 missing [1]
Damage$17.9 billion (2019 USD)
(Costliest Pacific typhoon in recorded history, unadjusted for inflation)
Areas affectedMariana Islands, Japan, Russia, Alaska
Part of the 2019 Pacific typhoon season

Hagibis developed from a tropical disturbance located a couple hundred miles north of the Marshall Islands on 2 October 2019. The Joint Typhoon Warning Center issued a red tropical cyclone formation alert - noting that the disturbance could undergo rapid intensification upon being identified as a tropical depression. On the next day, 3 October, both the Japan Meteorological Agency and the Joint Typhoon Warning Center began issuing advisories on Tropical Depression 20W. The depression stayed at the same intensity as it travelled west toward the Mariana Islands on 4 October, but on 5 October, 20W began undergoing rapid intensification and early that day, the system was issued with the name "Hagibis" by the JMA, which means speed in Filipino. Sea surface temperatures and wind shear became extremely favourable for tropical cyclogenesis and Hagibis started extremely rapid intensification on 6 October, and became a Category 5 super typhoon in under 12 hours - the second of the 2019 Pacific typhoon season. Edging closer to the uninhabited areas of the Mariana Islands, Hagibis displayed excellent convection as well as a well-defined circulation. The system developed a pinhole eye and made landfall on the Northern Mariana Islands at peak intensity, with 10-minute sustained winds of 195 km/h (121 mph) and a central pressure of 915 hPa (27.02 inHg).[5]

Land interaction did not affect Hagibis much, but as the system continued to move westward, it underwent an eyewall replacement cycle, which is usual for all tropical cyclones of a similar intensity. The inner eyewall was robbed of its needed moisture and Hagibis began to weaken, but the storm developed a large, cloud-filled eye, which then became clear, and Hagibis restrengthened to reach its second peak. Travelling toward Japan, Hagibis encountered high vertical wind shear and its inner eyewall began to degrade, and the outer eyewalls rapidly eroded as its center began to be exposed. On 12 October, Hagibis made landfall on Japan at 19:00 p.m JST (10:00 UTC) on the Izu Peninsula near Shizuoka. Then, an hour later at 20:00 p.m. JST, (11:00 UTC), Hagibis made its second landfall on Japan in the Greater Tokyo Area. Wind shear was now at 60 knots (69 mph; 110 km/h), and Hagibis' structure became torn apart as it sped at 34 knots (39 mph; 63 km/h) north-northeast toward more hostile conditions. On 13 October, Hagibis became an extratropical low and the JMA and JTWC issued their final advisories on the system. However, the extratropical remnant of Hagibis persistent for more than a week, before dissipating on 22 October. Hagibis caused catastrophic destruction across much of eastern Japan. Hagibis spawned a large tornado on 12 October, which struck the Ichihara area of Chiba Prefecture during the onset of Hagibis; the tornado, along with a 5.7 magnitude earthquake off the coast, caused additional damage those areas that were damaged by Hagibis.[6][7] Hagibis caused $17.9 billion (2019 USD) in damages, making it the costliest typhoon on record.[8][9]

Meteorological history

Map plotting the storm's track and intensity, according to the Saffir–Simpson scale
Map key
  Tropical depression (≤38 mph, ≤62 km/h)
  Tropical storm (39–73 mph, 63–118 km/h)
  Category 1 (74–95 mph, 119–153 km/h)
  Category 2 (96–110 mph, 154–177 km/h)
  Category 3 (111–129 mph, 178–208 km/h)
  Category 4 (130–156 mph, 209–251 km/h)
  Category 5 (≥157 mph, ≥252 km/h)
Storm type
Extratropical cyclone / Remnant low / Tropical disturbance / Monsoon depression

In early October, a poorly-organized and broad area of storms persisted over 1,500 km (930 mi) east of Guam. With favorable atmospheric conditions and warm sea surface temperatures prevailing, the Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) began noting the possibility of tropical cyclogenesis on 4 October,[10] eventually issuing a Tropical Cyclone Formation Alert the next day.[11] The system initially remained stationary,[12] consolidating a center of circulation in the lower levels of the atmosphere.[11] The Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) declared the disturbance a tropical depression at 00:00 UTC on 5 October.[5] At the time, the system was 1,030 km (640 mi) northeast of Pohnpei, quickly developing cumulonimbus clouds around its center and establishing conducive outflow as it tracked west around the periphery of an area of high pressure.[13][14] The tropical depression strengthened into a tropical storm by 18:00 UTC on 5 October while 1,560 km (970 mi) east of Guam,[5] gaining the name Hagibis.[15] A dominant curved rainband had begun to wrap around the center of Hagibis, signifying further organization.[16] On 6 October, the storm made a slight turn towards the west-southwest and began an accelerated period of intensification within an environment with low wind shear and atop warm waters,[17][5] reaching severe tropical storm intensity at 12:00 UTC and typhoon strength six hours later as it developed a small eye.[5][18]

Typhoon Hagibis entered a period of explosive intensification on 7 October,[19] with its central pressure falling 55 mbar (hPa; 1.62 inHg) in 12 hours according to the JMA.[5] Estimates from the JTWC suggested a 185 km/h (115 mph) increase in the storm's maximum winds in 22 hours. During this phase, Hagibis maintained a pinhole eye 9 km (5.6 mi) across, encircled by a highly compact and sharply-defined eyewall.[19] The rate of intensification was among the fastest observed in the Western Pacific.[20] According to the JMA, Hagibis reached its peak intensity at 09:00 UTC on 7 October with a minimum pressure of 915 mbar (hPa; 27.02 inHg) and 10-minute sustained winds of 195 km/h (121 mph); Hagibis would maintain this intensity for 72 hours.[5] The JTWC classified Hagibis as a super typhoon early on 7 October,[21] and later assessed peak 1-minute sustained winds of 295 km/h (185 mph), as Hagibis passed just south of Anatahan in the Northern Mariana Islands.[22] Hagibis was unusually rapid in its trek through the Mariana Islands, traveling with a forward motion of 27–34 km/h (17–21 mph).[23]

Typhoon Hagibis making landfall on Japan, first on the Izu Peninsula and then near Yokohama.

After passing the Mariana Islands, Hagibis began an eyewall replacement cycle, which caused the rapid intensification phase to end. As the primary eyewall began to erode,[24] the JTWC downgraded the typhoon to a Category 4-equivalent super typhoon at 00:00 UTC on 8 October. Several hours later, Hagibis completed the eyewall replacement cycle and reintensified to Category 5-equivalent intensity, attaining a secondary peak intensity with 1-minute sustained winds of 280 km/h (175 mph) . Hagibis began to weaken on 10 October, as sea surface temperatures decreased and wind shear increased. Mild strengthening was forecast shortly after Hagibis downgraded to a Category 3 typhoon, but this prediction failed to materialize, as the storm neared land and its outer rainbands began to erode.

After gradual weakening, Hagibis made landfall on Shizuoka as a Category 2-equivalent typhoon, with 1-minute sustained winds of 155 km/h (96 mph), at around 08:30 UTC on 12 October. While over Japan, Hagibis became disorganized from high wind shear and eventually became extratropical on 13 October.[25] Afterward, the extratropical remnant of Hagibis accelerating northeastward, for the next few days. From 16 to 20 October, Hagibis made a counter-clockwise loop over the western Bering Sea, while gradually weakening. Afterward, the remnant of Hagibis drifted southwestward and then eastward, before dissipating on 22 October.


Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands

Evacuation orders for Guam and the Mariana Islands were made on 7 October. U.S. president Donald Trump approved an emergency declaration for these islands ahead of Hagibis. The islands of Saipan, Tinian, Alamagan, and Pagan had been issued typhoon warnings.[26]


Shelves in shops around Tokyo were quickly cleared, as people bought supplies ahead of Hagibis making landfall.

Forecasts across eastern, western, and northern Japan called for strong winds and torrential rain that would likely cause flooding and mudslides.[27] JR Group, Japan Airlines, and All Nippon Airways suspended services.[28] JMA weather forecaster, Yasushi Kajiwara, said, "It is a level 5 situation; some sort of disaster may have already taken place. People are strongly advised to act to protect their lives right away."[29] Evacuation orders have been issued to more than 800,000 households across 11 prefectures.[30] Over 230,000 people took the advice to head to evacuation shelters.[31]

The typhoon had effects on several major sporting events occurring in Japan. Three matches of the 2019 Rugby World Cup were cancelled due to Hagibis, including the Pool B matches between New Zealand and Italy, and Canada and Namibia, and the Pool C match between England and France. This marked the first time that matches have been cancelled in the history of the Rugby World Cup.[32][33] All cancelled matches were counted as draws: the cancelled fixture effectively eliminated Italy from the tournament, as they had a chance to potentially qualify for the knockout stage with a sufficient margin of victory against New Zealand.[34]

On 11 October, it was announced that the Saturday practice session for the 2019 Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka Circuit would be cancelled, and the Saturday qualifying session was postponed to Sunday morning prior to the race.[35] The F4 Japanese Championship cancelled its round at the circuit as well.[36] Nippon Professional Baseball postponed both Game 4 Climax Series games in the 2019 Pacific League Climax Series and the 2019 Central League Climax Series, despite the games being played indoors in domed stadiums[a]. Both games were planned to take place on Saturday, 12 October, one in Tokorozawa, Saitama, and the other in Bunkyō, Tokyo. The games were instead played the next day on Sunday, 13 October.[37]

a The Belluna Dome, where the 2019 Pacific League Climax Series was being held, lacks a wall behind the stands despite being a closed roof stadium.


Costliest known Pacific typhoons
Rank Typhoon Season Damage
(2021 USD)
1 Mireille 1991 $19.9 billion
2 Hagibis 2019 $15.9 billion
3 Jebi 2018 $14 billion
4 Songda 2004 $13.3 billion
5 Fitow 2013 $12.1 billion
6 Faxai 2019 $10.6 billion
7 Saomai 2000 $9.91 billion
8 Lekima 2019 $9.84 billion
9 Prapiroon 2000 $9.66 billion
10 Bart 1999 $9.35 billion
Significant typhoons with special names[38]
(from the Japan Meteorological Agency)
Name Number Japanese name
Marie T5415 Tōya Maru Typhoon (洞爺丸台風)
Ida T5822 Kanogawa Typhoon (狩野川台風)
Sarah T5914 Miyakojima Typhoon (宮古島台風)
Vera T5915 Isewan Typhoon (伊勢湾台風)
Nancy T6118 2nd Muroto Typhoon (第2室戸台風)
Cora T6618 2nd Miyakojima Typhoon (第2宮古島台風)
Della T6816 3rd Miyakojima Typhoon (第3宮古島台風)
Babe T7709 Okinoerabu Typhoon (沖永良部台風)
Faxai T1915 Reiwa 1 Bōsō Peninsula Typhoon (令和元年房総半島台風)
Hagibis T1919 Reiwa 1 East Japan Typhoon (令和元年東日本台風)

Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands

The Mariana Islands were glanced by Typhoon Hagibis. Acting Governor Arnold Palacios began giving "all-clear" signals based on information from the National Weather Service and CNMI Emergency Operations Center. Communities have been cleaning up debris and all evacuation centers are now closed. On 12 October, most utilities were restored and had started reopening.[39]


An aerial view of flooding in Nagano, Japan.

Early on 12 October, a tornado struck Ichihara City, which killed one person and left two people injured.[40] In the afternoon, some areas of Japan suffered heavy flooding, with tens of thousands of homes without power. The Japan Meteorological Agency warned that high winds could cause further flooding and landslides. The agency issued evacuation advisories in high-risk areas.[41] Over 76 centimetres (30 in) of rain fell in parts of Japan. Japan's Fire and Disaster Management Agency stated that at least 98 people have been confirmed dead, 7 people are missing, with 346 people injured by the storm.[42][43] More than 270,000 households lost power across the country.[44] Ten trains of the Hokuriku Shinkansen Line in Nagano City were inundated by flood waters, leading to a loss of ¥32.8 billion (US$300 million).[45] Economic losses throughout the nation are estimated to be US$15 billion, and insured losses are estimated at US$9 billion.[8]

At around 6:22 p.m. JST (09:22 UTC) on 12 October, a magnitude 5.7 earthquake occurred off the coast of Chiba Prefecture, worsening the dangerous conditions already created by Hagibis.[46]

Hino Bridge above Tama River, damaged by Typhoon Hagibis

Hagibis also led to the cancellation of several sporting events, such as three Rugby World Cup 2019 matches; involving Namibia versus Canada, New Zealand versus Italy, and England versus France,[47][48] and the third practice and qualifying for the Japanese Grand Prix.[35] Qualifying for the Grand Prix was rescheduled to the Sunday morning before the race.


Due to the severe impacts of Typhoon Hagibis in Japan, the name Hagibis was officially retired during the 52nd Annual Session, organized by the ESCAP/WMO Typhoon Committee in February 2020. In February 2021, the Typhoon Committee subsequently chose Ragasa as its replacement name.[49]

See also


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  3. "Jaw-dropping sport moments of 2019: Japan stun Scotland and shake up Rugby World Cup". 26 December 2019.
  4. Hays, Jeffrey. "Typhoons in Japan". Facts and Details. Retrieved 27 April 2020.
  5. Kitamoto, Asanobu (2019). "Typhoon 201919 (HAGIBIS) - Detailed Track Information". Digital Typhoon. Tokyo, Japan: National Institute of Informatics. Retrieved 15 October 2019.
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  9. "国土交通省|報道資料|令和元年東日本台風の発生した令和元年の水害被害額が統計開始以来最大に令和元年の水害被害額(確報値)を公表". 国土交通省 (in Japanese). Retrieved 13 November 2022.
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  12. Warning And Summary (04/1800) (Report). Tokyo, Japan: Japan Meteorological Agency. 4 October 2019.
  13. Reasoning No. 1 for TD Located at 15.0N 162.7E (RSMC Tropical Cyclone Reasoning). Tokyo, Japan: Japan Meteorological Agency. 5 October 2019.
  14. Reasoning No. 2 for TD Located at 15.3N 161.1E (RSMC Tropical Cyclone Reasoning). Tokyo, Japan: Japan Meteorological Agency. 5 October 2019.
  15. Tropical Storm 1919 Hagibis (1919) Upgraded From Tropical Depression (Report). Tokyo, Japan: Japan Meteorological Agency. 5 October 2019.
  16. Reasoning No. 5 for TS 1919 Hagibis (1919) (RSMC Tropical Cyclone Reasoning). Tokyo, Japan: Japan Meteorological Agency. 5 October 2019.
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  35. Benson, Andrew (11 October 2019). "Japanese GP typhoon: Qualifying postponed as Typhoon Hagibis nears". BBC News.
  36. "2019 FIA F1 World Championship Japan Grand Prix Support Race FIA-F4 Suzuka Round Special Game canceled due to approaching typhoon". F4 Japanese Championship. Retrieved 10 October 2019.
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  40. Demetriou, Danielle; Ryall, Julian (12 October 2019). "Millions evacuated as Super Typhoon Hagibis slams into Japan - throwing Rugby World Cup into chaos". The Telegraph. Retrieved 12 October 2019.
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