Although Super Typhoon Hagibis has caused catastrophic floods, mudslides and at least 68 tragic deaths in Japan, FreightWaves understands from local sources that Tokyo’s critical freight infrastructure – seaports and airports – are undamaged. Japan’s wider logistics network is suffering from a miscellany of damage such as flooding.
FreightWaves today spoke to several Tokyo-based correspondents for Protection and Indemnity Clubs (P&I Clubs – a specialist type of insurer for ocean ship operators).
Three independent and completely separate sources reported that they had received no damage reports for the ports in Tokyo Bay. These include the port at Tokyo along with the ports at Kawasaki (about 11 miles to the south-south-west) and Yokohama (18.5 miles to the south-south-west).
FreightWaves was also told that both Narita and Haneda airports are working normally. Narita airport has confirmed it is working normally in a written statement. Haneda has not issued a statement but its website indicates that it is working normally.
“Tokyo has done reasonably well,” an insurer told FreightWaves today, agreeing with the view that the city seems well equipped to handle typhoons.
Small cargo ship lost – some crew rescued, others missing, five dead
A ship agent also advised that Typhoon Hagibis caused a small cargo ship, of about 1,900 gross tons (a measure of internal space, not weight) to sink near the port at Kawasaki. Local media has identified the ship as the Jia De (IMO 8989848), a Panama-flagged general cargo ship of 3,336 deadweight tonnes. Deadweight refers to the carrying capacity of a ship and it is measured in metric tonnes. A metric tonne is equivalent to 2,204.6 U.S. pounds.
The 2002-built Jia De had a length of about 82.65 meters and a breadth of 13 meters. Local news agency, Kyodo News, says that the Japanese coast guard lost track of the vessel at about 21:40 (local time) on Saturday, October 12.
Of the 12 crew, four have been rescued, three are unaccounted for and the remaining five are dead.
Japan’s wider logistics network
Japan’s wider logistics and freight system will be disrupted at least temporarily.
Levees have broken on 66 rivers leading to widespread flooding. Local media are showing pictures of submerged motorways, rail tracks and bullet trains. State broadcaster NHK is reporting that ten bullet trains, with 120 carriages, have been confirmed damaged. Some railway stations have been flooded. The homes of over 12,000 residents have been flooded, according to the state broadcaster, NHK. More than 5,000 people across the country remain evacuated.
At the peak of the disaster approximately 520,000 homes were without power however, as of early this morning (Tuesday, October 15) that figure was down to 34,000, the state broadcaster NHK reports. It adds that about 133,000 households were without water this morning.
Ordinary life in Japan will also likely be disrupted for some time. A large initial disaster-damage report issued this afternoon by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Tourism is reporting numerous floods, power outages, broken water and gas pipes, shut-off or cut-off water and power infrastructure owing to floods, damage to bridges, damaged telephone and internet connections, collapsed road embankments, mud- and water-flooded roads, collapsed telephone poles, fallen trees, and other such damage that might be expected after typhoons and floods.