Alarmed residents rush to stock up on food as Typhoon Hagibis approaches Japan


People were rushing to supermarkets and hardware stores Friday to stock up on supplies as Typhoon Hagibis approached the Pacific coast, menacing the Kanto and Tokai regions on Honshu.

Some lodging facilities in tourist sites, which had anticipated strong demand for the three-day weekend through Monday, were forced to close.

“Sales of pot noodles were three to four times those on any other day,” said an official of supermarket chain Life Corp., which runs about 120 outlets in the greater Tokyo area. Customers also bought perishables, including meat and fish, for the long weekend, the official said.

An outlet of major drug store chain Sugi Holdings Co. in Nagoya had stocked up on more instant noodles, batteries and other items than usual at the direction of its headquarters.

Bottled water quickly disappeared from the store’s shelves after massive water supply disruptions happened in Chiba Prefecture last month due to damage from Typhoon Faxai.

“We came here to buy water to prepare for an outage,” a corporate employee in her 40s visiting the store with her husband said. “We’re also getting some batteries as our children will be scared if a blackout occurs,” she added.

Hotels and other lodging facilities in Atami, a popular hot spring resort in Shizuoka Prefecture, were meanwhile hit by cancellations for the long holiday.

Hotel New Akao decided to close on Saturday, and its employees were busy reinforcing windows with curing tape and sheets of plywood. Giant windowpanes in the hotel’s dining hall were smashed by high waves during a typhoon in July last year.

At a winery in Koshu, Yamanashi Prefecture, grapes for red wine were harvested two days earlier than planned because they were in danger of being blown away by strong winds, according to the winery.

“We had planned to harvest the grapes with volunteers over the weekend,” said Soichiro Kazama, an official of the winery.

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