Return to Transcripts main page

CNN Newsroom

State Funeral Of Queen Elizabeth Begins In Coming Hours; ; World Leaders Pay Tribute to Queen Elizabeth; Puerto Rico without Power after Hurricane Fiona Hits; Taiwan Earthquake; Russia's War on Ukraine. Aired 1-2a ET

Aired September 19, 2022 - 01:00   ET




BECKY ANDERSON, CNN ANCHOR: Well, hello and welcome to our viewers around the world. I'm Becky Anderson in London for you. It's just after six in the morning here, where Britain is now preparing say its final goodbye to the country's longest serving monarch.

Queen Elizabeth state funeral is now just hours away and ahead of that, Buckingham Palace released this previously unseen photo of her majesty taken back in May. Well, right now the Queen is lying in state at Westminster Hall behind me here where mourners continue to fall past her coffin to pay their respects a scene that has played out around the clock since Wednesday. But in less than an hour, the public viewing will come to a close.

Well on Sunday, people across Britain paused for a moment of silence and reflection in her honor.

Prime Minister Liz Truss also paying tribute outside 10 Downing Street.

Let's start this hour CNN's Scott McLean, you joins us from very close to the Palace of Westminster. You are with those getting their last chance to pay their respects to the Queen. At one stage the queue to do that snaked along the River Thames some six miles it was at one stage some 25 hours the waiting time. They've closed that queue now. So those who are there will be the last to get the opportunity, Scott, to pay their respects. What's the mood like?

SCOTT MCLEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, so I've been trying to find an adjective to describe this, Becky. Obviously not a party atmosphere, it's people are queuing to see the Queen's body lying in state. It's also not necessarily all that somber either. It's somewhere in between. There is a lot of camaraderie between the people who are here. All of them share a common admiration for the Queen and a desire to pay their respects.

Let me just give you quickly the lay of the land. So obviously, this is the Palace of Westminster, the Houses of Parliament, just around the corner is Westminster Hall, where the Queen's body is lying in state and you can see the line snakes underneath the tower. And then, as you mentioned, at one point, it had gone for five or six miles along the Thames River.

This is now the end of it at around 10:30, 10:40 at night, that is when they announced that the line had officially closed. And you're seeing right now, the last of the people going through these gates back and forth. So from here, it's pretty much a straight shot on to the -- onto Westminster Hall.

And let me just see if I can grab someone to talk to you really quickly. This one lines moving a little quickly, I got to go around to the other side. Remember, these people had been in line for about six, seven hours, which is a lot better than it had been. And they're all given numbered wristbands. So the very first people that we spoke to this was Wednesday evening, around 5:00, they had single digits. So literally one, two, three, et cetera.

The wristbands that we're seeing on people right now, the highest that I've seen, is 243,000. So, just imagine how many people, it's hard to comprehend that number of people actually filing past the Queen's coffin, but that's what we've seen here.

Let me just try to grab someone really quickly and ask them how long they've been here. Ma'am, I'm just wondering how long you guys have been waiting for here?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hours. I was we set off at about 9:00. And then we had to get off the chain and then had to come in the car. So, we've been traveling for about, what, 20 hours almost. We came in the Midlands.

MCLEAN: Why was it so important for you to come?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Moments in history. And really important for my granddaughter as well.

MCLEAN: Thank you for talking to us. We appreciate it. Sir, just wondering why it was so important for you to be here?



MCLEAN: Why is it so important to be here?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I suppose because of my age, I saw the last one, which was Winston Churchill offers state funeral. So this is my second one.

MCLEAN: How old are you?


MCLEAN: 77. Wow, you look great. How does it feel to be amongst the last to file past the coffin?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, I'm lucky to be here. You know, I didn't think I'd make it. But I'm grateful that I made it.

MCLEAN: I'll let you go in. And thank you, sir. We appreciate it. So Becky, you'll see all the cameras, all the lights following the last people. The last woman there officially, we think is woman named Christina there, if you can believe it. This is actually her second time going into file pass the coffin. She had waited in line for seven, eight hours the first time around. And then when she got in, she said, Well, that was quick. So she actually walked back around to the line it was much shorter. At that point she already had the wristband, and now she's been waiting well, about four or five hours again to do it the second time so she will be the very last person to file past the Queen's coffin.

ANDERSON: Scott McLean is very close to the Palace of Westminster there. Thank you. The Queen's state funeral expected to be one of the largest diplomatic gatherings in recent memory. Leaders from all parts of the world have traveled here to say their goodbyes. Amongst them U.S. President Joe Biden, the French leader, Emmanuel Macron. They are joined by many British allies, including representatives of most Commonwealth countries such as Australia and New Zealand as well as other royal families from around the world.

The Japanese emperor is here. The former king of Spain. It's a guest list that includes just about every nation with which the UK has full diplomatic relations.

With me now is Simon Lewis, former press secretary to Queen Elizabeth. You worked with Her Majesty back in the late 1990s. And as I understand it, the plans then were in place for this funeral. They've been in place for a very long time. They've been activated, what some 10 days ago now. Just your thoughts and what we've seen over this past week and a half.

SIMON LEWIS, FMR. PRESS SECRETARY TO QUEEN ELIZABETH: Well, first of all, you're right, those plans were in place the Queen's plan, London Bridge. And even 20 years ago, the Queen was fine tuning the detail, they pragmatic about these matters, as we're all members are off. And of course, you can't predict what's going to happen in these last 10 days. And I'm sure the Queen would have realized there be some tweaks including the fact that people didn't know she was never going to pass away at Balmoral.

But I think the last 10 days has seen the monarchy at his very best that meticulous planning, judging the mood of the people. I mean, coming here this morning, just get a sense. This is a great historic day for Britain, more world leaders arriving here than anytime since Winston Churchill state funeral in 1965.

ANDERSON: And this city certainly hasn't seen proceedings like this since 1965. And Scott talking to a gentleman there who was actually in London for that. It looks as if some 250,000 or so have paid their respects, standing in a queue for hours and hours and hours. The last of those are now going through the Palace of Westminster and then over the next sort of four or five hours, six hours today. And we will see the end of what is the final journey for Queen Elizabeth II. What can people expect? LEWIS: They'll expect, obviously, the procession from Westminster Hall to the Abbey, and that'll be a very, very particular with a very strong military theme to the members of the family passing by we'll see in the Abbey. We now know Prince George and Princess Charlotte, how extraordinary is that? The youngest great grandchildren going to be there. Then, of course, a funeral which has been meticulously planned. The homily from the Archbishop of Canterbury, a reading from the Prime Minister, and then that last journey, is that last journey.

ANDERSON: The diplomatic sort of maneuverings here are important, aren't they? I mean, we're talking about representatives from around the world. And there is a pecking order to a certain extent, and the palace will have been working on that for some time.

LEWIS: Someone said it could be a diplomatic nightmare, because it's a question of status. Obviously, we have the president, President Biden here, President Macron here, all diplomats are equal, but some are more equal than others. And I thought, by the way, the President spoke very well yesterday about his relationship with the queen. And last night was important because there was the king meeting the diplomats and the prime ministers and heads of state.

So I think I have to say as a Brit, it feels that we are the center of attention over these few days from a diplomatic point of view as well and that can only be good for the country, but I suspect they'll be some seating plan arrangements yes


ANDERSON: Yes. I'm sure though, I'm sure those have been in the offing for some time. It occurred to me that as I drove through London about what, 3:00 in the morning to come here, and it's now just after six in the morning, you know, you'd expect to stillness in the middle of the night to this city, but there was a sense of quiet, which is different from it just being another, you know, middle of the night. I mean, I've always had that now, over these last few days, as mourners have been paying their respects, how would you describe it?

LEWIS: I completely use one other word gratitude. Every person who's interviewed says they are there to show their gratitude to the Queen. And I think that's an amazing thing that after 70 years, people want to queue for 13, 14 hours. They want to come out today to show their gratitude. And I'm sure the Queen would have loved that because it has been a lifetime of service. And for people to feel gratitude after that long, I think is not just right, but it feels like it's, as you say, quite special.

ANDERSON: We know that the Queen has been tweaking the order of service. And that, of course, starts at 11:00 this morning, that's five hours from now. That's a big affair. It will be one of the most watched TV events, certainly in Britain's history, if not in the world.

After that, her coffin will go to Windsor, to Windsor Castle, where proceedings will be a lot more intimate, won't they? Just remind our viewers or explain to our viewers what Windsor Castle means to the Queen?

LEWIS: Well, Windsor Castle was where the Queen spent a lot of time but not just away from her public life. She did lots of public events there that was interviewed by the Queen and Prince Philip there. It's a beautiful place. It's right in the center of Windsor itself.

And as you said, I think that's when the family will spend some time because obviously her late husband was in third (ph) and the final moment will be actually the queen, the Duke of Edinburgh be reunited. I think that's when things just get a little smaller. And the family can then have some time away from what has been the most extraordinary media coverage.

ANDERSON: Yes, I mean, they've been in public view now for 10 days. This is the end of an era. And we've been talking about that now for the past 10 days on CNN, the beginning of a new era, King Charles III. And Prince William, who is very familiar, I'm sure to many of our viewers around the world. He is now the heir apparent, and he's conducted himself absolutely flawlessly over the past 10 days or so. And we would expect to see more of Prince William and his wife, Catherine, wouldn't we, in the days --


ANDERSON: -- weeks, months to come.

LEWIS: The Prince and Princess of Wales and that's a big step up and as you say, Prince William is ready for it incredibly well supported by the princess. They're lovely kids as well. And I mean just one small part of it the Duchy. He's going to be taking responsibility for the Duchy of Cornwall, which is the huge land and things that go with it that the Prince of Wales now the king was responsible for. So I think he's ready to step up. And I think the country wants to see him step up. So once again, we see this wonderful transition.

ANDERSON: Watch out for those little ones today. It'll be lovely to see Prince George and Princess Charlotte, the great grandchildren of Queen Elizabeth II. The two of them will be in that procession along side their parents and their grandfather, King Charles. Thank you very much indeed. It's lovely having you with us today.

As the dawn breaks in London, Simon Lewis here, extraordinary security arrangements, as you can imagine, are in place for the Queen's funeral later today. We'll go live to outside Buckingham Palace for more on that after this. Plus, people have been camping out in Windsor to witness the historic procession with the Queen's final journey to one of the monarch's oldest castles. We'll get you a live report from there in just a few minutes.



ANDERSON: It's 17 minutes past six here in London. Tributes to Queen Elizabeth are all around the city. We are looking at an image there projected on the headquarters of the BBC on Sunday night. Well, security in London is at its highest level in memory. As dozens of world leaders gather for the Queen's funeral. You can see preparations happening at Buckingham Palace on Sunday where workers were handling scaffolding and getting the situation sorted for what are expected to be many, many, many people in a few hours.

The Queen's coffin will leave Westminster Hall carriage on the same stage gun carriage it was used for the funeral of her father, King George VI. She will be taken to Westminster Abbey, where an estimated 2,000 People will be in attendance for her funeral service. Well, for more I'm joined by Nina dos Santos at Buckingham Palace.

And Nina, how big are the crowds of mourners expected to be today? And what are authorities doing to ensure everyone's safety?

NINA DOS SANTOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Becky they're expecting hundreds of thousands of people and I can tell you just anecdotally arriving here at Buckingham Palace at about three four in the morning. There were already people lining the streets on West London desperate to try and get into my car. They actually asked to get into my car to go to the underpass to get here to this part of town.

Obviously, they didn't have the right accreditation and couldn't but you could see many people trying to get desperately to get into this part of town to get a position along any of the streets that are open in particular the viewing point in the mail (ph) which is over on this side of Buckingham Palace connecting at Buckingham Palace with Horseguards parade and then over on towards Westminster Hall. People desperate to get a glimpse of this funeral procession as it proceeds. Remember that the Queen's coffin left Buckingham Palace on Wednesday for the very last time and we already saw large crowds there.


But this is expected to be heightened in terms of security dynamics because of course, we don't just have hundreds of thousands of people lining the streets. We've also got 500 plus dignitaries who are going to be making their way to Westminster Abbey as well.

And what they're looking desperately to see is a glimpse of the new king, but also the Queen's coffin, as it makes its way out of London for the final time towards Windsor. So, getting into the mechanics of the day's events, Becky, obviously, in about 10 minutes time, we're expecting the lying in state period and Westminster Hall to finish the final members of the public to be able to pay their respects and then they will no longer be able to do that from there on.

At 8:00 a.m. the doors of Westminster Abbey will open for this congregation of 2,000 people which includes 500 foreign dignitaries, they're going to start taking their places then. We're not just having a Japanese emperors who've been invited to this ceremony and Spanish kings, French and U.S. presidents. They'll also be large numbers of people who have done a lot of charity work in this country, representatives of diverse groups like the LGBTQ community, and people who have campaigned for say against knife crime or helped out enormously during the pandemic. There's going to be a lot of members of the health service as well. Later on, what we're expecting is members of the royal family to leave Buckingham Palace for that funeral procession. The King will leave from his own official residence nearby in Clarence House, and then when the Queen's coffin is loaded from the catafalque onto a gun carriage then of course the king has siblings and the Queen's grandchildren will then take part in this procession towards Westminster Abbey, and then later on past here in Buckingham Palace. Becky.

ANDERSON: Nina dos Santos, thank you. Well, after the state funeral this morning, Queen Elizabeth's coffin will be taken to Windsor for what is a private committal service, and people there have been camping out overnight, perhaps hoping to catch a glimpse of the Queen's procession.

The service at Windsor will be a lot more intimate than that at Westminster with just the royal family past and present, members of the royal household and personal staff.

The Queen will be laid to rest in the King George VI Memorial Chapel, which lies within St. George's Chapel at Windsor Castle. The coffin of the Queensland husband, Prince Philip will also be moved from its current resting place so that he can be buried alongside.

CNN's Nada Bashir joining me now live from Windsor, which of course is just west of London. As we say the ceremony expected to be a more intimate affair there. What's the atmosphere like? What have people been telling you about why they're there?

NADA BASHIR, CNN REPORTER: Look Becky, it's still very early in the morning, the sun is just coming up. We are already seeing people coming here to the high street around Windsor Castle waiting for that opportunity to see the procession later today to pay their respects. This is of course, where the queen will later on be buried.

And we have seen people camping out on the streets around Windsor, much as we've seen around Westminster and central London. This was of course, a deeply important residence to the Queen it's where she spent much of her time later on in life.

And as you mentioned there while the first service at Westminster Abbey is going to be more of a grand state affair, this will be a little bit more intimate and somewhat more personal as well. We are expecting around 800 people to be in attendance at that second service which will take place at St. George's Chapel in Windsor Castle just behind. We now include members of the royal family but also members of the Queen's household past and present, as well as personal staff from across the Queen's estates and there will be nods to the Queen's family and personal life.

This is of course, the very same place where her late husband, Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh was buried lay to rest in April of last year. There will be hymns sung at the Queen's funeral that was sung at his funeral as well as prayers that had been read at the Queen's father's funeral back in 1952. So this will be a deeply personal affair and of course, we will see the Queen's coffin being lowered into that royal vault just below St. George's Chapel at the closing of that committal service.

So later on in the evening, that a private burial service will take place here in Windsor, attended by close royal family members. And of course this will be private eventually will be buried alongside late Prince Philip the Duke of Edinburgh and her parents as well here in Windsor.

But as I said, as I mentioned earlier, we are already seeing crowds lining the street. There are people just walking up behind me. I can see them with suitcases all ready to wait out the long hours for the service this afternoon for that procession to arrive here in Windsor. There is a significant police presence here. We've seen many volunteers is already lining the streets in the early hours of this morning because of course this will be a large scale security operation as well the infrastructure has already been set up.


The Union Flag lining the streets. This will be a huge event for the town of Windsor, of course and this will be a moment that many people in this local area will remember for years to come. Becky.

ANDERSON: Nada Bashir is in Windsor, thank you for that. Well, still come this morning, we are covering reaction from around the world as the United Kingdom has its final farewell to Queen Elizabeth. You're watching CNN Newsroom. I'm Becky Anderson. Stay with this.


ANDERSON: Well, these are live pictures from inside Westminster Hall where the Queen has been lying in state shirt since Wednesday. And you are now seeing some of the very last mourners who will be allowed inside the building to pay their respects after which Westminster Hall will close and the Queen's coffin will be moved to Westminster Abbey. That will happen momentarily the closure of that hall and those people getting their final opportunity.

Welcome back to our viewers around the world. I'm Becky Anderson in London whether time is 6:30 in the morning is what we are expecting to see in the hours ahead. After the lying in state period ends, the Queen's coffin will be moved from Westminster Hall to Westminster Abbey. That is just a very short distance between the two.


The funeral service will begin at Westminster Abbey after it will be conducted by Dean of Westminster. Before the service, the tenor bell of the abbey will be tolled every minute for 96 minutes-- one for each year of the Queens life.

After the service, the procession sets off to Wellington Arch. Members of the royal family will follow on foot. The Queen's coffin will then be moved to the state hearse and the procession will continue to St. George's Chapel at Windsor Castle, which is to the west of London.

The Queen will be buried in a private ceremony attended by King Charles, members of the royal family and staff.

Well, heads of state and dignitaries from around the world will be attending the Queen's funeral today. Some countries are also commemorating the Queen's life and legacy with events of their own.

For more on that, let us bring in CNN's Angus Watson who is in Sydney, Australia and Stephanie Busari who is in Lagos in Nigeria. Angus, let us start with you. How are Australians marking what is a very big day in history?

ANGUS WATSON, CNN PRODUCER: Absolutely Becky. Australians certainly feel the momentous occasion that this is. Australians are farewelling their sovereign, one of 14 countries, of course, outside the U.K. where the British monarch is the head of state.

So of, course it's front page of every national newspaper. Every single national television network will be taking the Queen's funeral live. And Australians around the country will be meeting to watch that go ahead and to participate in services marking the Queen's funeral.

That is going to happen here where I am. At St. Andrew's Cathedral here in Sydney. The seat of the Archbishop of Sydney, where the Queen did visit several times among her some 16 visits to this country, including the portrait behind me you see there. Pictured here, this cathedral in 1954.

The prime minister of Australia on a visit of his own there in London, to attend the funeral of her majesty, Queen Elizabeth II. He has talked about sense of occasion, of being the Australian prime minister there as the world says goodbye to the monarch of Great Britain.

He's talked about being in 1988 as a backpacker in London at Westminster. Now coming back as the leader of a country and meeting King Charles III there on Saturday.

He might not be the person that you would expect to toast (ph) the king of Australia, as he did in London this week. Anthony Albanese is a Republican, he's putting those politics to one side however as his nation Australia mourns the passing of Queen Elizabeth, Becky.

ANDERSON: Angus, thank you. Angus is in Sydney Australia. Before we get to Nigeria, let us just take a look at the images coming into CNN now. And this is the end of the Queens lying in state -- the opportunity for people to pay their respects.

Remember, this has been going on since Wednesday of last week. It is now 6:30 in the morning in London. Over the last four days, more than 250,000, a quarter of a million people, as we understand it have had the opportunity to file past this coffin.

The queues at one point snaking along the river for six miles, it was 24 hours that some people waited in line overnight, to pay their respects.

And now the hall is empty. It is quiet. And some moments just for those who are in that room of quiet contemplation. Later on this morning of course, the Queen's casket will be moved to Westminster Abbey where a state funeral, the likes of which we have not seen since 1965 on Winston Churchill's funeral, will get underway. That's about four and a half hours from now.

Let's get you to Nigeria. Stephanie, what is the general mood and reaction there?

STEPHANIE BUSARI, CNN DIGITAL SUPERVISING EDITOR, AFRICA: Well, Becky, good morning. Things are a little bit more muted here. It is not a public holiday for instance. It is a normal working day.

And many of course, remember the Queen with a lot of affection. She visited Nigeria twice during her reign and there have been registers of condolences opened in the British High Commissions and some church services held in her honor.


BUSARI: But it is kind of a normal working day. People remember with affection but it is not a big sense of occasion as you are seeing in other parts of the world.

And of course, there is a complicated history here in Nigeria, which was a former colony of Britain. And many parts of the continent where the Queen's legacy is seen as somewhat complex because of the atrocities committed during colonialism.

There are some who say simply that they are not mourning her passing simply because she is seen as a symbol of the oppression that they and their families went through, Becky.

ANDERSON: Stephanie is in Nigeria -- Lagos in Nigeria. Angus in Sydney Australia. To both of you, thank you very much indeed.

Let me just show you the papers that I've got this morning. One image on the front of most of the British papers. This is a newly-released photograph of Queen Elizabeth II. "The Times" simply says "Final Farewell".

The "Daily Telegraph" for you: "A Life of Selfless Service".

And finally, "The Sun": "God bless her" is what it says.

And I'll have more from London in a few moments. First let us bring in Michael Holmes in Atlanta, Michael.

MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN ANCHOR: All right. Becky thanks so much. We'll check in with you a bit later.

We're going to take a quick break here on the program. When we come back, Hurricane Fiona hits Puerto Rico with a fury. Residents who are stuck with no electricity and predictions of catastrophic flooding worrying about what the storm will leave behind.

Plus, Taiwan shaken by that magnitude 6.9 earthquake. How the island is managing as aftershocks continue.



HOLMES: And welcome back. I'm Michael Holmes. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM.

All of Puerto Rico is in the dark after being hit by Hurricane Fiona on Sunday. Have a listen.

You hear it there -- strong, howling winds, torrential rain, knocking out the territory's power grid which may take days to get back online.

And the National Hurricane Center is predicting life-threatening and catastrophic flooding. Flooding in some areas is expected to break previous records set during 2017's Hurricane Maria.

CNN's Leyla Santiago with more from San Juan.


LEYLA SANTIAGO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Puerto Ricans will be waking up to quite a bit of uncertainty after having a day of wind, flooding, mudslides and no power -- 100 percent without power.

There is an island wide power outage and the company here says that it could be days before power is restored. A cancer center had to be evacuated because the generator went out.

A bridge in Utuado, Puerto Rico, the center of the island -- we watched as it was just washed away. The gentleman who filmed this video told us he just looked outside of his grandparents kitchen and he could see that the river was rising quickly and that bridge just washed away.

As the rain continues to come down and the wind continues on the island, there is a strong sense of frustration. For those who are living out what they fear -- that lack of power and floods.

Because remember, we are coming up on the five-year anniversary of Hurricane Maria, the hurricane that nearly five years ago just destroyed and decimated this island, leaving many without power for months; in some cases, nearly a year.

So, a lot of people feared what would happen with the power and the flooding and now it is becoming a reality for many of them

I spoke to one family in Caguas, about half an hour south of San Juan, the capital. And they lost power very early in the morning. We went to talk to them and here is the exchange, I will tell you the video is very dark because there was no power. But listen in.


SANTIAGO: She says when the power goes out she gets real anxious and she gets really tense, worried. She is staying here because she left her house. It's safer here and she's worried what she's going to find at her house.


SANTIAGO: Again, still no word on when exactly power will be restored to 3.5 million U.S. citizens on this island. And many already saying that the day will begin with an assessment. Trying to figure out exactly what the impacts are from Hurricane Fiona.

Leyla Santiago, CNN -- San Juan, Puerto Rico.


HOLMES: Our meteorologist Pedram Javaheri joins me now with more on where the storm is going next. What are you seeing, Pedram?

PEDRAM JAVAHERI, CNN METEOROLOGIST: You know, Michael, just a few hours away here for a second landfall across portions of the Dominican Republic and the storm system -- you take a look at the damage that's been left in place, certainly an incredible storm here given that it is only a Category one. Very well organized, very much symmetrical and certainly producing an incredible amount of rainfall.

But, main landfall right around say 3:20 p.m. local time across the southwestern area of Puerto Rico. Approaching areas of the island of Hispanola, over the next couple of hours. But wind speeds already pushing up over 100 miles per hour across portions of Puerto Rico.

And as we've noted 100 percent of the island, well over 3 million people without power at this hour. And you will notice, the storm system, has lost very little steam since it made landfall. Very little interaction with the landfall point. But again broad area of rotation, quite a bit of moisture on the eastern side of this, producing a rainfall amount that could exceed 15, maybe 20 inches in a few areas.

And nearly the entirety of Puerto Rico underneath flood alerts at this hour given how much rainfall has come down and how much additional rainfall is possible across this region.

You'll notice models suggesting another 5 to 8 inches in a few spots. And certainly total amounts exceeding 15 inches in other spots as well.

But the storm system is on the move. It is going to pick up some steam here. Wouldn't interact with the Island of Hispanola but we do expect the lesser extent of the interaction here to be on the eastern side because, quite a bit of mountain on the western side of the island.

The storm takes a sharp right turn. We do expect this to intensify to a major hurricane within the next 24 to 48 hours. Certainly, the Turks and Caicos on alert. And eventually, later on towards the latter half of the week parts of Bermuda could be on alert in advance of the storm system.


JAVAHERI: You'll notice, the stirring (ph) environment such that the U.S. looks to be, at least the mainland part of the United States looks to be veering away at least, not impacted by this storm system. But still a potential major hurricane in the works in the coming several days, Michael?

HOLMES: All right. Pedram, thanks so much. Pedram Javaheri there with the very latest.

And more severe weather is moving across east Asia this hour. Nearly 10 million people ordered to evacuate in Japan as Typhoon Nanmadol lashes the island of Kyushu. Japan has issued its highest disaster alert as authorities warn of unprecedented storms and rainfall.

Meanwhile, in Taiwan, state media reports at least one person has died now from a 6.9 magnitude earthquake. The tremors so strong, just have a look there, a bridge collapsed. Its supports twisted right out of the ground. And officials report more than a hundred aftershocks have been recorded.

CNN's Blake Essig joins me now from Tokyo. I know you are going to tell us about Taiwan but let's us start with that huge storm that hit where you are in Japan.

BLAKE ESSIG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Michael, let me put things into perspective. To give you an idea of just how massive this storm is. We are about a thousand kilometers away here in Tokyo from the eye of the storm and we have been experiencing heavy rains off and on for several days as a result of this typhoon that just made landfall late last night.

Super typhoon Nanmadol will go down as one of the strongest typhoons Japan has ever seen with gusts of wind reaching about 145 kilometers per hour at its peak. And for days experts have been saying, they've been warning about a potential large scale disaster on Japan's Kyushu Island, fueled by these high wind storm surge and torrential rain.

The good news here, at least at this point is that it seems that that potential large scale disaster has so far been avoided.

As you had mentioned, 10 million people living in southern western Japan have been ordered to evacuate as a result of this violent storm. So, even though that large-scale disaster has been avoided, a lot of damage and impact as a result of the storm is being felt.

Hundreds of thousands of homes across several prefectures are without power and NHK Japan's public broadcaster is reporting that more than 40 people have been injured as a result.

It's also worth noting that hundreds of flights today and yesterday have been canceled and bullet train service has also been suspended on several lines until at least some point later this afternoon.

And this slow-moving, yet powerful typhoon as I mentioned made landfall late last night around 7:00 p.m. on Kagoshima City on Kyushu Island.

This happened again Sunday night. It is now headed here towards Tokyo unless it decides to go in a different direction bringing with it, potentially heavy rain, strong winds which could cause landslides and flooding.

Now, super typhoon Nanmadol was not the only natural disaster to impact this region. As you mentioned Michael, in Taiwan, a strong 6.9 magnitude earthquake hit off of Taiwan's eastern coast.

It is the largest earthquake Taiwan has recorded this year. Trains were derailed, buildings collapsed and this morning, nearly 700 people remain trapped on two separate mountains in southeastern Taiwan.

Taiwanese officials were saying that all of those people had been taken into local shelters and will be evacuated at some point today as authorities work to clear roadblock. And so far, as a result of this quake, one person has died after being struck by a machine while working at a cement factory. Nearly 150 people have been injured as a result of that 6.9 magnitude earthquake, Michael.

HOLMES: All right. Appreciate it Blake. Thanks so much. Blake Essig there in Tokyo for us.

Now, Ukraine grappling with the grim aftermath from the retreat of Russian forces in the country's east. Kyiv accusing Russian forces of committing more than 34,000 quote, "crimes of aggression and war crimes" since the war started.

CNN's Nick Paton Walsh with more from Kramatorsk.


NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Horror stories continuing to build. As Ukrainian officials move into areas where Russian forces control daily life for months.

Specifically this day, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy talking about these torture chambers that they have discovered, one in a settlement close to the Russian border, (INAUDIBLE) where it appears devices, including those that may be used to give electric shocks to people have been found.

Now, this were presumably in detention centers where Ukrainian citizens will be held. We know that Russian forces have been going through them, filtering them for potential former military members, pro-government sympathizers, informers. And so it maybe these devices were involved in trying to work out who knew what.

We heard no comment from Russian officials about this. but I have to tell you, there's plenty of history of Russian military using torture when they have been deployed to places like Chechnya and elsewhere.


WALSH: And this forms part of the strident messaging we are hearing from the Ukrainian government about these atrocities. Add to that the increased information we are getting about the mass burial sites around Izium recently liberated to over 400 bodies seeming to be engraved there. We are hearing this day that it Will take two weeks to exhume all of them.

And as they do there, Ukrainian officials vocal about the signs of violent death and possibly torture they are finding on some of these bodies. Investigations ongoing though, I should say.

Also on the frontlines, suggestions that Russia might be struggling to exactly find where it can call its new defensive line because of continued Ukrainian progress. Certainly on the eastern side of the Oskil River, near the town of Kapiansk (ph), Ukrainian forces are pushing south it seems.

That is a problem for Russia (INAUDIBLE) expecting to be attacked for the north of Luhansk. Near where I am standing in Kramatorsk, where a missile struck the city's center just the night before causing some significant damage. There appears to be some incremental advances by Ukrainian troops. But also, two in the south, for the counter offensive that situation described by Ukrainian officials as tense.

So, Ukraine certainly controlling the narrative of Russian atrocities. And it seems, where the motion is on the frontline. The big question, where does the next counter offensive push from Ukraine come.

Nick Paton Walsh, CNN -- Kramatorsk.


HOLMES: Still to come here on the program, much more on Queen Elizabeth's state funeral. We will show you some of the touching tributes from world leaders and officials.

You are watching CNN NEWSROOM. We'll be right back.



ANDERSON: The morning sun has risen here in what will be a historic day in London. Leaders from around the world have been paying tribute to Queen Elizabeth ahead of her funeral later on.

U.S. President Joe Biden visited the Queen's coffin at Westminster Hall on Sunday. And said Britain was lucky to have a monarch who was so quote, "decent and honorable".

French President Emmanuel Macron was also there to pay his respects. Earlier, officials said he would give King Charles a picture book that honors of the Queen's visits to France.

Well, it was a poignant moment here on Sunday night. At 8:00 p.m., Big Ben and much of the U.K. fell silent for one minute in honor of Britain's longest reigning monarch. You are watching CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Becky Anderson. I will be right back with more special coverage of Queen Elizabeth's funeral. Stay with us.