Typhoon Songda hits southern Japan


Cooler King
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As the typhoon made its way towards Kyushu on Sunday morning, Japan's Meteorological Agency issued a mudslide warning for Kagoshima, where recent volcanic eruptions left the ground weak and prone to such events.

Kagoshima received 121mm of rain on Saturday. A little further south, Naze had a whopping 160mm in the same time period. Subsequently, 15,400 households suffered power cuts and 426 households lost their water supply.

Overall, the combination of strong winds and heavy rain left at least 58 people injured and 278,000 households without power.

Tokyo has also been feeling the effects of the storm, which has now been downgraded to a tropical storm. Flights were cancelled for a time.

Elsewhere, concerns remain over Japan's crippled Fukushima nuclear plant, which officials admit is not fully prepared to deal with violent storms. Fortunately the storm has now passed to the south of the site.

However, the typhoon has already brought heavy rain to the Fukushima region and there is still more to come. This has prompted worries that runoff water may wash away radioactive materials from the land into the Pacific Ocean.

The plant operator, Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) has been pouring synthetic resins over the complex in an attempt to stabilise the plant. More work needs to be done, not just now but also to ensure that future typhoons would not spread radioactive materials into the environment.
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