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Japan hit by heaviest snow in decades – Asia-Pacific – Al Jazeera English

Japan hit by heaviest snow in decades – Asia-Pacific – Al Jazeera English.

Severe weather kills seven people, injures 1,000 and leaves tens of thousands without electricity.

Last updated: 09 Feb 2014 07:00

Further snowfall is expected on Sunday in the northern part of the country [AP]
At least seven people have been killed and 1,000 injured as parts of Japan suffered their worst snowfall in decades.Many of the deaths and injuries were caused by snow-linked accidents and car crashes, according to state televiasion channel NFK and the AFP news agency.

As much as 27cm of snow was recorded in Tokyo by late Saturday, the heaviest fall in the capital for 45 years, according to meteorologists.

The northeastern city of Sendai recorded 35cm of snow, the heaviest in 78 years.

Further snowfall is expected on Sunday in the northern part of the country, the Japan Meteorological Agency said.

More than 20,000 households are without electricity on Sunday, while airlines have cancelled nearly 300 domestic flights a day, AFP reported.

Nearly 5,000 people were stranded at Narita airport on Saturday as traffic linking the airport to the capital was disrupted, NHK said.

In central Aichi prefecture, a 50-year-old man died after his car slipped on the icy road and rammed into an advertisement steel pole, a local rescuer said.

“World’s Strongest Cyclone Ever” Slams Philippines With 200 MPH Winds | Zero Hedge

“World’s Strongest Cyclone Ever” Slams Philippines With 200 MPH Winds | Zero Hedge.

If last year it was the East Coast’s turn to suffer a freak super storm, this year it is the already battered Philippines, which suffered a 7.2 magnitude earthquake last month, turn as Super Typhoon Haiyan, the equivalent of a Category 5 hurricane, slammed into the Philippines today after forcing thousands of people to evacuate. With sustained winds of 315 kph (195 mph) and gusts as strong as 380 kph (235 mph), Haiyan was probably the strongest tropical cyclone to hit land anywhere in the world in recorded history. “If it maintains its strength, there has never been a storm this strong making landfall anywhere in the world,” said Jeff Masters, founder of Weather Underground in Ann Arbor, Michigan. “This is off the charts.” Not taking chances, the local government has ordered over 125,000 people from 22 provinces to evacuate.

But while luckily human lives will be saved, little else may be. As Bloomberg reports, “Haiyan may inundate rivers, create mudflows and cause storm surges as high as 6 meters (20 feet), Aquino said. Three air force cargo planes, 2 navy ships, helicopters and relief boats are on standby, the president said. About 78,000 families were evacuated in Albay province, Governor Joey Salceda said on his Facebook account. Masters said Tacloban, the capital of the Philippine province of Leyte, would take a direct hit and winds of at least 130 mph may sweep as far as 100 miles inland. “There isn’t much built on the Philippines that can withstand winds like that,” Masters said.

Moments ago Bloomberg just blasted that up to half of the island chain’s sugar cane may be destroyed as a result of the Typhoon, which will wreak havoc on logistic and supply chains globally across numerous commodities. However, it is the human damange that is the biggest threat.

Heavy rains from storms usually cause the highest death tolls on the Philippines, Masters said. Flooding may not be the worst threat this time because Haiyan is moving fairly fast. The high winds and storm surge have the potential to cause catastrophic damage, he said.

“We’re swamped with calls for help,” Southern Leyte Governor Roger Mercado said in an interview over DZMM radio. Strong wings uprooted trees in the province, he said.

About 2,000 passengers, 50 vessels and 557 rolling cargoes are now stranded in various seaports, the disaster agency said today. Cebu Air Inc. (CEB), the nation’s largest budget carrier, canceled 122 domestic flights and 4 international flights from today to Nov. 9, it said yesterday. Philippine Airlines Inc., in its Facebook account, said 26 local flights and three international flights have been canceled today.

Putting the size of the storm in perspective: “Haiyan was so large in diameter that at one point, its clouds were affecting two-thirds of the country, which stretches more than 1,850 kilometers (1,150 miles). Tropical-storm-force winds extended 240 kilometers from the typhoon’s center.

The wide angle shot below by EUMETSAT shows just how massive the typhoon truly is:

In short a record superstorm:

 The true power of Haiyan isn’t known because reconnaissance planes haven’t flown into it, Masters said. The strongest tropical cyclone on record was Super Typhoon Nancy in 1961 with top winds of 215 mph. He said many believe the estimated wind speeds of storms between the 1940s to 1960s was too high.

Since 1969, only three storms have been as powerful as Haiyan, Masters wrote on his blog. They were Super Typhoon Tip in 1979 in the Pacific and Atlantic hurricanes Camille in 1969 and Allen in 1980.

The strongest storm to hit land was Camille, which went ashore in Mississippi with winds near 195 mph, Master said. While there are some estimates that Camille’s winds were closer to 200 mph, the exact speed is unknown because the instruments were destroyed, according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center.

This is just the beginning. After it is done with the Philippines, Haiyan is expected to strike Vietnam in several days, according to the Japanese Meteorological Agency.  “It is going to be a huge problem for Vietnam and Laos,”Masters said. As much as a foot of rain may fall there, he said.

If there is a silver lining to all the imminent destruction and tragedy, it is that Q4 GDP in the region will be off the charts. Just as Krugman.

Below is CNN with a video summary on the ground. 

Japan Hit By 7.3-Magnitude Earthquake Off Fukushima Prefecture Coast, Tsunami Advisory Issued

Japan Hit By 7.3-Magnitude Earthquake Off Fukushima Prefecture Coast, Tsunami Advisory Issued. (source/link)

An earthquake of magnitude 7.3 struck early Saturday morning off Japan’s east coast, the U.S. Geological Survey said. Japan’s emergency agencies declared a tsunami warning for the region that includes the crippled Fukushima nuclear site.

Japan’s Meteorological Agency issued a 1-meter (3-foot) tsunami warning for a long stretch of Japan’s northeastern coast. It put the magnitude of the quake at 7.1. The U.S. Pacific Tsunami Warning Center did not post warnings for the rest of the Pacific.

There were no immediate reports of damage on land. Japanese television images of harbors showed calm waters.

The quake hit at 2:10 a.m. Saturday Tokyo time (1710 GMT) about 290 kilometers (170 miles) off Fukushima. Japanese broadcaster NHK reported that Tokyo Electric Power Co., the operator of the Fukushima plant, ordered workers near the coast to move to higher ground. Japanese news service Kyodo said there were no signs of trouble at the plant.

The tremor was felt in Tokyo, some 300 miles (480 kilometers) away.

All but two of Japan’s 50 reactors have been offline since the March 2011 magnitude-9.0 earthquake and ensuing tsunami triggered multiple meltdowns and massive radiation leaks at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant, about 250 kilometers (160 miles) northeast of Tokyo. About 19,000 people were killed.

 

Radioactivetyphoonado: Watch As “Once In A Decade Storm” Batters Fukushima | Zero Hedge

Radioactivetyphoonado: Watch As “Once In A Decade Storm” Batters Fukushima | Zero Hedge. (FULL ARTICLE)

While the broader public’s attention continues to be distracted by the circus that America’s legislative and executive branches have become (an expected development at a time when the monetary branch reigns supreme), the real, non-scripted and truly devastating catastrophe continue to unfold in Japan, and specifically in Fukushima, where both TEPCO and the government have long since lost control of the worst nuclear disaster in history. However, in addition to the now usual daily spills of hundreds of tons of radioactive coolant into the environment, a potentially far more dangerous situation which may lead to an even greater loss of containment is taking place right now as both the destroyed nuclear plant and soon Tokyo are about to be buffeted by Typhoon Wipha – a “once in a decade storm.

Reuters reports:

 Typhoon Wipha is moving across the Pacific straight towards the capital, Tokyo, and is expected to make landfall during the morning rush hour on Wednesday, bringing hurricane-force winds to the metropolitan area of 30 million people. The center of the storm was 860 km (535 miles) southwest of Tokyo at 0800 GMT, the Japan Meteorological Agency said on its website. It was moving north-northeast at 35 kph (22 mph).

The storm had weakened as it headed north over the sea but was still packing sustained winds of about 140 kph (87 mph) with gusts as high as 194 kph (120 mph), the agency said. The agency issued warnings for Tokyo of heavy rain, flooding and gales, and advised people to be prepared to leave their homes quickly and to avoid unnecessary travel.

A spokesman for the meteorological agency said the storm was a “once in a decade event”….

 

Japan Earthquake 2013: 6.0-Magnitude Quake Shakes Northeast, No Tsunami Risk

Japan Earthquake 2013: 6.0-Magnitude Quake Shakes Northeast, No Tsunami Risk.

 

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