The violent Typhoon Roke hit central Japan Wednesday, dumping torrential rain on the south-west of the archipelago and forcing hundreds of thousands of people to evacuate and companies to suspend their activities.
Came from the Pacific Ocean from the south, the typhoon came over Shizuoka Prefecture Central to 2:00 p.m. local (0500 GMT). It was then up the main island of Honshu to the north-east, accompanied by wind gusts exceeding 200 km / h and torrential rains.
Heavy rainfall prior to the arrival of the typhoon center has killed at least four people in central and western parts of the country while two others were actively sought, including a child who disappeared Tuesday on the way back from school.
The authorities have stepped up warnings for two days. The violent weather threatens the most populated areas of Japan, whose central city of Nagoya, Shizuoka province and the megalopolis of Tokyo where the wind and rain redoubled to 3:00 p.m., twisting umbrellas and preventing pedestrians from moving forward.
The Meteorological Agency said that disturbances in the past have taken a similar trajectory, from southwest to northeast, had caused considerable damage.
Even before the dramatic heart of the storm reaches the level of Shizuoka (about 150 miles southwest of Tokyo), floods and floods have already been deplored in Aichi Prefecture, central industrial heart of Japan where authorities have advised on more than one million people to evacuate their homes.
This hurricane has also forced the automaker Toyota to suspend production for 11 of its 15 factories in Japan, because of the disorganization of logistical difficulties of moving workers. The sites concerned are all in the Nagoya area which is also the headquarters of the manufacturer.
The group of Heavy Industry Mitsubishi Heavy Industries has in turn stopped the production of five plants and aircraft engines, always in the center.
Several highways were closed and more than 200 flights already canceled, according to NHK public television, a number that could rise throughout the day.
Roke could cause new landslides in Wakayama Prefecture (Central West) already hit earlier this month by Typhoon Talas, who had about 100 dead or missing.
It must also pass in the night between Wednesday and Thursday over the Tohoku region (Northeast), ravaged by the earthquake and tsunami of March 11.
The nuclear power plant accident in Fukushima (220 km northeast of Tokyo), which continues the work of coverage of buildings blown by explosions, will not be immune to the heavy rains.
In Tokyo, the construction companies have secured as much as possible work in progress to avoid falling objects while the companies have suspended railway lines and reduced the number of trains in circulation.
"Significant difficulties are feared in the transport, the rush hour of the evening in the capital and surrounding areas," warned a private weather forecasting agency, recommending her to move back home or wait for the big gusts and rain has passed.
Japan suffered the passage of at least a dozen more or less violent typhoons every year between July and October. The skyscrapers of the big cities are normally designed to withstand gusts as much as earthquakes.