Powerful Typhoon No. 10 is expected to be the first typhoon in at least 65 years to make landfall in the Tohoku region from the Pacific Ocean side on the evening of Aug. 30.
The Japan Meteorological Agency is warning that heavy rains of 80 millimeters or more per hour are expected to fall in some parts of northern Japan, including Tohoku.
The agency is also advising commuters in the Kanto region to take precautions against strong winds and heavy rain on the morning of Aug. 30.
As of noon on Aug. 29, Typhoon No. 10 was advancing in the waters about 340 kilometers southeast of Hachijojima island at a speed of 25 kph. The atmospheric pressure at the center of the typhoon was 945 hectopascals. The maximum wind speed near the center was 162 kph. The maximum momentary wind speed was 216 kph.
Typhoon No. 10 is expected to reach waters about 360 km southeast of Choshi, Chiba Prefecture, in the morning on Aug. 30, although it is expected to slightly weaken by that time.
The typhoon is forecast to make landfall on the Tohoku region later that day and move to the Sea of Japan before dawn on Aug. 31, the agency said.
According to the agency, no typhoons have landed on the Tohoku region from the Pacific Ocean side since statistics became available in 1951.
In the period from Aug. 29 to Aug. 30, the maximum wind speed is expected to be 126 kph in the Tohoku region and 82.8 kph in the Hokkaido and Kanto regions.
The amount of rainfall during the 24-hour period until the morning of Aug. 30 is predicted to be up to 200 mm in the Tohoku and Kanto regions and Yamanashi and Nagano prefectures.
Fukushima nuclear plant prepares for typhoon
The operator of the troubled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant is preparing for the powerful Typhoon Lionrock.
Tokyo Electric Power Company says on Monday workers secured electric cables and hoses.
TEPCO says on Tuesday it will suspend work with cranes and other operations at the plant’s port, which could bear the brunt of strong winds and waves. Depending on weather conditions, the firm may also call off outdoor work in other areas.
It says when the most recent typhoon approached last week, heavy rain caused underground water levels to rise and threatened to flush contaminated water into the harbor.
Workers are arranging pumps to draw up more ground water, and setting up additional pumps at wells used to observe water levels.
There were concerns in the past that a downpour brought by a typhoon could cause contaminated rain water to flow through a drainage channel into the ocean.
To address these fears, TEPCO rerouted the drainage system into the plant’s inside port. It also raised the levels of barriers around tanks that store tainted water.
Nearing typhoon halts work at Fukushima Daiichi
Workers at the troubled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant have suspended some of the decommissioning work and are bracing for rain and winds from a powerful typhoon.
Typhoon Lionrock is expected to make landfall along Japan’s northeastern coast on Tuesday afternoon, passing off Fukushima Prefecture.
Tokyo Electric Power Company says workers secured electric cables and hoses on the plant compound on Monday.
On Tuesday, the operator suspended work at the plant’s port. It also stopped the operation of a crane being used to demolish a temporary cover over one of the reactor buildings. Officials say they are closely watching to make sure the cover is not blown off by the typhoon.
TEPCO says it has also taken measures to prevent contaminated rain water and groundwater from leaking into the ocean.
In past typhoons, it was thought that contaminated rainwater flowed into the ocean through a drainage system. There were also concerns that radioactive groundwater might leak into the ocean as rain could increase the groundwater in the compound.
This time the operator has installed stronger pumps and increased their number.
The utility says as of 11 AM Tuesday, there were no changes in groundwater levels at the plant’s site.
Other measures taken earlier include rerouting the drainage system into the plant’s port instead of directly into the ocean. TEPCO also raised the barriers around tanks that store tainted water.