This weekend Typhoon 1215 is hitting with a lot of force. You can check out the path and information in English on the Japanese Meteorological Administration’s website.
It’s interesting for me how many natural disasters Japan is prone to. Mainland Japan gets a few every year, and even more in the south around Okinawa. Most of the time, typhoons aren’t a big deal because buildings here are meant to withstand earthquakes and strong winds. The yellow circle in the picture above is generally pretty weak, and you might not even notice anything amiss. The red zones, however, can have strong destructive winds.
Right now its early Monday morning. We were supposed to have our first day back at school, but the wind is howling. My apartment is made of concrete, so I’m quite safe, though I feel for the farmers. Typhoons hurt them the most. This typhoon will likely cause thousands of dollars in damage to sugar cane and other crops.
In my four years in Okinawa, I’ve been through a lot of typhoons, but only two near category 5s, which is the strongest we see. Typhoon 15 (taifun in Japanese) has winds up to 156 miles per hour, and will likely knock down trees. Since all the buildings are concrete and have specially made glass, they’ll be ok in the winds provided a tree doesn’t get blown into a window. There aren’t any near me, so I’m good.
Unfortunately, this powerful and slow-moving typhoon is set to be followed up by 2014 which passed to the south of us last week, but will likely backtrack north in a few days.
If you happen to live in a typhoon prone area be sure to prepare non-perishable food, candles, flashlights, and water. Both the power and water services may be interrupted. Two years ago I was without water and power for a day. Not a huge problem provided you are prepared!
Stay Safe and good luck!
Here are a few pictures from typhoons past…