Day 196 Typhoon #15 takes its toll

Typhoon hits quake-ravaged regions, floods temporary housing community

A woman is seen cleaning up her temporary housing unit in Sukagawa, Fukushima Prefecture, on Sept. 22, while her husband, behind, looks on. (Mainichi)

A woman is seen cleaning up her temporary housing unit in Sukagawa, Fukushima Prefecture, on Sept. 22, while her husband, behind, looks on. (Mainichi)

SUKAGAWA, Fukushima — Powerful Typhoon No. 15 has caused major floods in temporary housing units here, bringing disaster once more to this city still suffering from the effects of the March 11 earthquake and ensuing nuclear disaster.

The fast-moving typhoon smashed into the Tohoku region late in the evening of Sept. 21, leaving two dead, several missing and affecting tens of thousands more as strong winds and heavy rain pounded the entire area.

Temporary housing units in Sukagawa, Fukushima Prefecture, were flooded when the river running through the park hosting the units overflowed due to heavy rains. According to unit residents, at one point the water reached their waists.

At around 6:50 p.m. on the same evening an evacuation advisory was issued to all 58 households — a total of 138 people — residing in the units.

“We were just beginning to return to normal life and we had to evacuate again,” one of the residents of the units said as they returned to clean the mud out of their temporary homes the morning after the storm.

The typhoon hit the temporary housing community only a day after residents from the city of Tamura — one of the municipalities within the 20 kilometer no-go zone around the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant — were allowed to briefly return to their homes.

Yoshie Suzuki, 62, was one of those people who looked forward to the short return, as she was hoping to bring out a few necessities for the coming winter. She gathered some warm clothes, a heater, and a part of a Buddhist altar. Everything she brought back, however, was soaked with water and mud by the Sept. 21 flood.

“I was hoping to welcome this year’s winter relaxed and settled down,” Suzuki said. “But look at this. How can I live here? I don’t know what to do anymore.”

“We’re back where we were right after the earthquake,” said a 68-year-old woman, while carefully placing soaked vegetables on a mat to dry in front of her unit. “We have to start from scratch.”

Typhoon No. 15 left a trail of damage through other parts of quake-devastated Tohoku as well, leaving at least two dead and several unaccounted for.

A woman, 65, was killed in the city of Ninohe in Iwate Prefecture when her home was destroyed by a mudslide in the early morning of Sept. 22. According to police, she was asleep when the mudslide hit, and her body was recovered after a five-hour search of the ruined house.

An 82-year-old man, whose house in Ninohe also collapsed due to a landslide, suffered minor injuries.

In Sendai, two municipal government workers went missing while inspecting a swollen river on Sept. 21 and one of them was found dead more than 400 meters downstream on Sept. 22.

(Mainichi Japan) September 22, 2011

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Death toll from strong typhoon reaches 11

Firefighters haul sandbags up a levee in Nagoya's Moriyama Ward on the morning of Sept. 21 as Typhoon No. 15 approached the Japanese archipelago. (Mainichi)

Firefighters haul sandbags up a levee in Nagoya’s Moriyama Ward on the morning of Sept. 21 as Typhoon No. 15 approached the Japanese archipelago. (Mainichi)

TOKYO (Kyodo) — The death toll from a strong typhoon that struck Japan reached 11 Thursday, with five people remaining unaccounted for, a Kyodo News tally showed.

Concerns over mudslides have grown across wide areas following heavy rains caused by Typhoon Roke, prompting the Japan Meteorological Agency to call for extreme vigilance.

The year’s 15th typhoon weakened into an extratropical cyclone Thursday afternoon and was located over waters northeast of Hokkaido as of 3 p.m., after greatly disrupting transport networks in the Tokyo metropolitan area the previous day.

A woman struggles against strong wind and rain in Tokyo, Japan, Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2011. (AP Photo/Shuji Kajiyama)

A woman struggles against strong wind and rain in Tokyo, Japan, Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2011. (AP Photo/Shuji Kajiyama)

A man and a woman were buried in a landslide in Ninohe, Iwate Prefecture, early Thursday morning. Both were rescued, but the 65-year-old woman, Tami Sannai, died later, according to local police.

In Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture, two municipal officials went missing while working near a swollen moat, with one of them, Masayuki Watanabe, 61, eventually found and confirmed dead.

In Numazu, Shizuoka Prefecture, Norikazu Matsui, 44, was found dead on the seashore after he was washed away by high waves cased by the typhoon the previous day.

Meanwhile, some 180 people from 100 households in Hayakawa, Yamanashi Prefecture, have been isolated as a mudslide cut a main road to the town. The prefectural government will deliver food and water by helicopter.

The flooded Kumano River in Totsukawa, Nara Prefecture is pictured early on Sept. 21. (Mainichi)

The flooded Kumano River in Totsukawa, Nara Prefecture is pictured early on Sept. 21. (Mainichi)

At the No. 1 reactor of the Onagawa nuclear power plant in Miyagi Prefecture, rainwater accumulated in two basement floors and plumbing areas underneath the turbine building due to torrential rain in the area, the plant’s operator, Tohoku Electric Co., said Thursday.

No radioactive substance was detected in the water, it said

Yamagata Shinkansen bullet train services were halted Thursday morning between Fukushima and Shinjo stations due to heavy rains.

Passengers wait for the resumption of bullet train service at Tokyo station in Tokyo, Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2011. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)

Passengers wait for the resumption of bullet train service at Tokyo station in Tokyo, Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2011. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)

Some 5,000 people stayed overnight in passenger cars of Shinkansen bullet trains at Tokyo and Shizuoka stations as they could not return home Wednesday.

(Mainichi Japan) September 22, 2011

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Typhoon isolates 472 people in disaster-hit Tohoku

http://www3.nhk.or.jp/daily/english/22_15.html

In Miyagi Prefecture, northeastern Japan, people living in temporary housing were isolated overnight on Wednesday due to flooding caused by a powerful typhoon.

Typhoon Roke hit wide areas of Japan on Wednesday, including Onagawa Town and other areas in the Tohoku region that were devastated by the March 11th earthquake and tsunami.

As a river was flooding, evacuation instructions were issued to 472 people, or 170 families living in temporary housing since the quake disaster.

But they could not reach the designated location on higher ground because the access road was flooded.

They spent the night in a nearby community center until Ground Self-Defense Force personnel entered the area early Thursday morning.

A 66-year-old man said people looked scared as they were stranded at the community center through the night.

Thursday, September 22, 2011 12:17 +0900 (JST)

Radioactive iodine spread south of nuclear plant

http://www3.nhk.or.jp/daily/english/22_12.html

A Japanese government survey shows that radioactive iodine emitted from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant spread not only northwestward but also to the south of the plant.

The science ministry sampled soil at 2,200 locations, mostly in Fukushima Prefecture, in June and July, and created a map indicating the extent of the radioactive contamination as of June 14th.

Officials were able to obtain data for iodine 131 at only 400 locations, because of its short half-life of 8 days.

The latest map shows that iodine 131 spread northwest of the plant, just like cesium 137 as indicated on an earlier map. But the substance was also confirmed south of the plant at relatively high levels.
The researchers found that accumulation levels of iodine 131 were higher than those of cesium 137 in coastal areas south of the plant.

Ministry officials say clouds that moved southward over the plant apparently caught large amounts of iodine 131 that were emitted at the time.

Iodine 131 could cause thyroid cancer through internal exposure. The ministry is therefore trying to determine at what levels the substance spread immediately after the accident at the plant in March.

Thursday, September 22, 2011 11:11 +0900 (JST)

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From EX-SKF:

#Fukushima I Nuke Plant: Reactor 2 Containment Vessel May Have Had a Hole Right After March 11 Earthquake

according to a government researcher at Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA).
Yomiuri Shinbun (9/22/2011):

東日本大震災直後に、東京電力福島第一原子力発電所2号機の格納容器が損傷、直径約7・6センチ相当の穴が開いた可能性のあることが、日本原子力研究開発機構の柴本泰照研究員の模擬実験で分かった。

The simulation done by Yasuteru Shibamoto, researcher at Japan Atomic Energy Agency, shows that the Containment Vessel of Reactor 2 at Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant may have been damaged, and had a hole about 7.6 centimeters in diameter right after the March 11 earthquake.

格納容器の損傷度を示す具体的な数値が推定されたのは初めて。北九州市で開かれている日本原子力学会で21日、発表された。

It is the first time that the degree of damage on the Containment Vessel is estimated in numbers. It was announced on September 21 at the fall conference of the Atomic Energy Society of Japan in Kitakyushu City.

Read entire article at:

http://ex-skf.blogspot.com/2011/09/fukushima-i-nuke-plant-reactor-2.html

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Al Jazeera: Japan Radiation Levels to Exceed Chernobyl Disaster

Al Jazeera’s Steve Chao reported on September 17.

He first meets Kouta Kinoshita, an independent journalist whom I have quoted several times here and who has been spearheading the grassroots effortto measure the radiation levels in many parts of Tohoku, Kanto, and now in Chubu and Kansai and beyond. He has also urged from the beginning of the crisis for people to leave Tohoku and Kanto, including Tokyo, as the contamination levels there are much more grave than the national or municipal government has admitted. In the interview, he says there are many spots in the Tokyo Metropolitan area where the radiation levels exceed those in Chernobyl where people had to evacuate.

Read entire article at:

http://ex-skf.blogspot.com/2011/09/al-jazeera-japan-radiation-levels-to.html

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