Monster typhoon on course to hit Japan, threaten Rugby World Cup

[TOKYO] A super typhoon is en route to bring violent winds to a wide swathe of Japan over the weekend, potentially disrupting Rugby World Cup games.

Typhoon Hagibis is headed toward western Japan on Saturday morning, with wind gusts of as much as 216 kmh, according to the Japan Meteorological Agency website. It is then forecast to make its way to eastern Japan around Tokyo, potentially canceling matches involving England and New Zealand.

The storm is classified as large and violent cyclone and is the equivalent to a Category 5 system on the five-step Saffir-Simpson scale used in the US.

The country is still recovering from a powerful typhoon last month that left hundreds of thousands of homes without power, with electricity yet to be fully restored. Its landfall caused widespread disruption to Tokyo's morning commute, closed down factories and left thousands of passengers stranded at Narita international airport near the capital.

Should the rugby games get canceled, there will be no rematch and the games will be considered a draw, according to Munetoshi Tsubota, a spokesman at the Rugby World Cup organising committee.

No cancellations are currently planned, and the committee is monitoring the typhoon closely, he said. East Japan Railway may need to suspend some services this weekend if Typhoon Hagibis runs its projected course, Asahi reported late Tuesday, citing President Yuji Fukasawa.



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