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Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Typhoon

Hi
There's already a gale blowing outside tonight but a strong typhoon is set to hit Tokyo (and us) tomorrow. We often get the wind and rain from typhoons further south but it's not often a typhoon actually hits, or 'lands' (joriku suru 上陸する). It's Typhoon No 26 - the 26th this season (here they don't give typhoons girls' names) and it's said to be the strongest in 10 years. Over 600 schools in Fukushima prefecture will be closed tomorrow, trains will be on a reduced timetable and hundreds of domestic flights are cancelled (although at the moment only a few international flights).

The TV always goes over the top when it comes to warnings. We have to take everything off the balcony, including clothes pegs which can turn into 'deadly weapons' in the wind (NHK's News Nine tonight). Once many years ago I watched so much television I scared myself silly and stayed with a friend for three days! 

It just happened that today was the day Mr Sato, governor of Fukushima, visited Fukushima Daiichi. Of course he stressed typhoon preparation - especially since there was a problem after Typhoon No. 18 last month when heavy rain raised water levels in the 'overflow trays' at the bottom of the tanks for contaminated water and overflowed. IAEA international experts are also in Japan and Governor Sato will have stressed the need for better management of the contaminated water. But strong winds, high waves and heavy rainfall in what threatens to be the worst typhoon since the disaster aren't going to help.
Good night
Anne
17 October:  There was a lot of rain. Workers did have to empty some of the sinks around the tanks into the ground (having checked levels were below limits previously agreed with the Nuclear Regulation Authority). Excess water was also pumped into an unused storage pool.

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