Japan’s very bad year keeps getting worse.
A powerful typhoon is heading for Japan‘s Fukushima prefecture and other areas hit by the 11 March earthquake and tsunami, after leaving at least four people dead in the country’s central region.
The meteorological agency warned that the typhoon, the second to strike Japan this month, was generating winds of up to 130mph (209 km/h).
Tokyo Electric Power (Tepco) said strong winds and torrential rain had so far not caused damage to the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, although the area had yet to feel the full force.
“The biggest cause for concern is the rise of [radioactive] water levels in the [reactors’] turbine buildings,” said Junichi Matsumoto, a Tepco spokesman.
The firm said cooling systems used to keep the reactors stable would not be endangered by the typhoon, adding that every possible measure had been taken to prevent leaks of radioactive water.
“We expect to be able to withstand [an overflow] even if water levels rise suddenly,” Matsumoto said.
Several typhoons strike Japan each year, but most do minimal damage. I experienced several when I lived in Japan. This one, dubbed Typhoon Roke, is hitting a Japan that is still reeling from the massive quake and tsunami back in February that obliterated whole towns and killed more than 20,000. Power has been knocked out around Tokyo and trains have been temporarily shut down.