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Typhoon Ma-on approaches Japan

July 18, 2011


Typhoon Ma-on is threatening the Japanese island of Shikoku. According to forecasters, the typhoon is likely to make landfall on Wakayama Prefecture (Honshu Island) early on July 20th. Later on Wednesday, July 20th or early on Thursday, July 21st, the typhoon, weakened by that time into a category-one storm, is expected to hit the south of Kanto Plain and Tokyo-Yokohama metropolitan area. Consequently, heavy downpours and strong winds are forecast while flash floods and landslides remain possible. Power cuts, telecommunication and water outages are possible in affected areas. Transport disruptions are also expected as the typhoon could force the closure of several airports including Osaka International airport, Tokyo International Airport (Haneda) and Narita International Airport. Ferry and train services (including the high-speed trains Shinkansen) are likely to be disrupted in southern and central Honshu.

Typhoon Ma-on will generate heavy rains and strong winds up to 130 mph. Several dozen typhoons hit Japan every year in the summer and early autumn. Japan is generally considered highly exposed to natural hazards (typhoons, earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions…), but has taken several initiatives in the field of disaster prevention. The country is still recovering from March 11th 9-magnitude earthquake and tsunami which lashed the north-eastern region and triggered a nuclear accident at Fukushima’s nuclear power plant.

If a typhoon is likely to occur in your area, you should stay informed through the radio or TV and follow all the recommendations given by local authorities.

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