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Monday, 13 October 2014

It's Typhoon Season in Japan!

In the past week, two major typhoons have hit Japan. What are the odds?

Living in Fukuoka, I hardly ever experience a typhoon. It always seems to skip me, which is good. But today's typhoon VongFong? Woah. I'm never underestimating typhoons again.

As you can see, Fukuoka isn't in the direct path, but is in the affected area.
Photo from JMA
A bit about Typhoon VongFong (aka Typhoon no. 19): It's said to be the strongest typhoon since Typhoon Haiyan, which caused major destruction in the Philippines. Worrying right? When I first checked the Japan Meterological Agency (JMA), the typhoon strength was 猛烈 (mouretsu - intense), meaning wind speeds of above 54m/s; and incidentally, is the highest rating with regard to wind speed. Thankfully, it had reduced by the time it hit Kyushu. If you want to read more about the classification the JMA uses, go to this page (Japanese).

But, even though the typhoon has reduced its intensity, what I've heard is that it's slow speed makes it very dangerous. Dangers include landslides, and being washed away by waves. Channel News Asia did an article on how terrible it is.

In fact, my cousin in Osaka received an evacuation notice! Osaka is currently in the "Danger" area, and is totally red. When I checked at 3 something in the afternoon, Fukuoka was also on high alert, but somehow, I didn't get any evacuation notice (perhaps something's wrong with my phone).

Look at all that red! Photo from JMA
Right now (8pm in Japan), most of the red area is yellow (caution advised), except for costal areas. It'll probably have left Fukuoka by tomorrow, so I guess the worst is over. However, all you in Kansai - Tokyo - Anywhere east of Fukuoka, take care!

Personal story time~

I was actually foolish enough to go out today. I had to meet a friend to get something. She works in Meinohama, so I thought that the walk to the station, then a one-stop ride would be easy.

Well, one umbrella was culled from the herd. It went out as a normal umbrella, and came back bent and ready to be thrown away.

And this was a good ending. I saw two umbrellas flip inside out. That's why most people eventually gave up and just walked/cycled through the rain without any umbrellas.
It can't even close
The worst part was walking over Muromi river. I normally love living next to a large body of water that connects to the ocean, but not now. My umbrella died there because the wind was so strong (The wind is normally stronger there). And it's a good thing I put on weight because I don't need to be blown away :p

As far as typhoon stories go, it's not very exciting (I didn't evacuate or anything), but this is one of those times where not-exciting = good. Safe is good, even if the story isn't as interesting.

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