Typhoons could disrupt the start of the Rugby World Cup

A wild tropical storm smashing towards Japan less than two weeks out from the Rugby World Cup could be a sign of what is to come.

Typhoons typically hit the Asian nation between July and October, and this year is no different, with Japan bracing itself for the arrival of tropical storm Faxai. 

Faxai has been developing offshore for the last few days and is forecast by Accuweather to hit Japan near the end of this week as a typhoon. Senior meteorologist Dave Houk says there is a threat to life and property.

The typhoon is a sign of what could hit Japan during the Rugby World Cup, which begins on September 20. The Guardian reports tournament organisers are bracing themselves for the weather disruption.

If a typhoon hit, it could have major consequences for pool play. If a pool game is cancelled, both teams will be awarded two points, as in a 0-0 draw.

A World Rugby spokesperson told The Guardian: "Any pool match that cannot be played on the same day will be determined a draw with two match points each.

"However, we will be doing everything we can to ensure that the match is played in a safe environment for teams and fans."

Honshu - Japan's main island where Tokyo is located - is right in Faxai's firing line. Two of New Zealand's pool games are scheduled for Honshu.

Roughly 30 typhoons hit Japan every year, but that's not the only natural disaster that could strike. Japan sits on the edge of the 'Ring of Fire', so it is prone to earthquakes.

Cyclone Jebi in 2018 hit the likes of Osaka and Kyoto, which will host Rugby World Cup events.

Typhoons could disrupt the start of the Rugby World Cup
Photo credit: Newshub.

Last year, tournament director Alan Gilpin said the issues of typhoons and earthquakes were a "hot topic", according to an Associated Press report.

Gilpin said at the time that contingency planning for extreme weather was underway.

"It's a complex piece and something we would do for every tournament. But this one has a heightened sense of realism to it. We have to take it seriously."

Accuweather's long-range forecast for Tokyo shows two weeks of mostly sunshine and cloud from September 22.


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