What a bloody country. Earthquakes, tsunami and now a typhoon. We don't often get direct hits up here but after causing commuter chaos in Tokyo, Typhoon 15 (no romantic names in this country, just numbers) hit Utsunomiya about 7 pm and then quickly veered north-east to hit Iwaki on the coast. Koriyama got heavy rain and strong winds in the early evening and it probably peaked just as I was walking home. (I'd tried to get a taxi but no replies from several taxi companies.) Roads turned to rivers, water bubbling up over manhole covers, I was like a drowned rat.
I thought this would be a good test for my Senz umbrella, designed in Holland to withstand winds up to 60 kmph, but I got caught in a bad gust rounding Usui department store and I'm afraid the umbrella broke. Sorry, Takeshi. I need another. And I promise I won't test it in a typhoon!
We first realised something was amiss when water started leaking from that crack on the stairs. I'd had the stairs replastered in May but the aftershocks reopened the crack and today water poured down as if from a long horizontal waterfall. Thank goodness the factory has moved and everyone is out. Just in time. Others are not so lucky. 60,000 people have been evacuated in Koriyama, including people from temporary housing - evacuated twice! Poor people.
We are told things are under control at the reactor. Work has stopped, they are battenning down the hatches and water levels are low so there is no danger of contaminated water overflowing. There are still no covers on the reactors though a temporary cover was being fitted onto Reactor 1 and I have heard that more permanent covers are being made at Onohama Port.
Then to cap it all, an earthquake at 10.30 this evening. Force 3 here. Haven't had one for a while. It's now about 11 at night and outside the rain and wind have stopped. Apart from the odd siren, all is eerily quiet.
What a night.