Typhoon Jebi Japans Strongest Storm In 25 Years - Information & Views - The J-Pop Exchange
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Typhoon Jebi: Japan’s Strongest Storm In 25 Years

By Elizabeth Gibson for The J-Pop Exchange
September 4, 2018

Heavy winds, pounding rain, and widespread flooding hit western areas of Japan with historic intensity this week.

The towns and cities in the prefectures of Gifu, Aichi, Kyoto, Osaka, Hyogo, Nara and Wakayama on Honshu, along with Tokushima, Kagawa and Kochi on the island of Shikoku were all affected in the largest typhoon recorded in 25 years.

At least nine people have reportedly died and over 100 were injured because of the typhoon, which hit landfall Tuesday.    Some of the deaths were caused from not staying indoors. For example, a 71-year-old man was found under a fallen warehouse, while another man in his 70s reportedly fell from the roof of a house.

Over 1 million people in affected areas have been ordered to evacuate their homes by officials amid warnings of high waves, flooding and mudslides. Thousands have moved to refugee zones such as town halls and school gyms.

The massive storm was considered a category-3 typhoon (out of five) on the Saffir-Simpson scale. The threat of the floods came soon after parts of Japan were hit by torrential rains in July killing more than 100 people.

An 89-meter-long oil tanker actually managed to embed itself into an airport bridge in Izumisano during the storm. There were eleven crew members aboard when the tanker was pushed from its anchorage into the sea by the high winds and slammed into the bridge, but no one was injured during the accident.

Hundreds of flights, ferries, and trains in Japan were cancelled. Even some companies, such as Toyota Motor Corp, halted work schedules until after the storm passed.  Some 177,000 customers across western Japan lost power, according to the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.

In the city of Osaka, one of the cities hit the hardest, extremely high seas poured into the Kansai International Airport, flooding a runway, forcing the shutdown of the airport and leaving thousands of people stranded within it.

Japan gets hit by several typhoons every year, especially in the summer.  But Jebi was the first typhoon classed as "very strong" by Japan’s weather agency since the typhoon season of August 1993.  That year, the category 4 Typhoon Robyn reached a peak intensity of 145 mph winds, but weakened to a 100 mph typhoon before hitting southwestern Japan.  Robyn was the cause of 45 fatalities, 39 of which were from traffic related accidents, and $68 million in damage (in 1993 USD). Later that same month, Super Typhoon Yancy brought strong winds to Japan, amounting to 42 casualties and widespread damage.  That storm caused $1.67 billion (in 1993 USD) in damage.

After Typhoon Jebi passed, many people posted on Twitter to let people know they were safe.

Chiyoka E. Ajmoto tweeted that the area around her was damaged. “All my fav old trees got broken by the typhoon last night, but we survived,” she tweeted. “Thanks for your prayers from the world my friends!”

Another Twitter user (@kandid.kait) took to Twitter to say she was happy to be alive. “Yesterday Osaka had a huge #typhoon (Hurricane)!  We had some damage, but it looks like most people are safe! I'm grateful for being safe and in good health.”

More by Elizabeth Gibson:

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