Weather Information Links:
In the event of a typhoon or severe weather, below are some webpages that can provide up-to-date information:
- Japan Meteorological Agency (English Page) is a good site for up-to-date information on weather in Japan in English. Information on Warnings and Advisories can be found here. If you click on the map section you will jump to information on the warning(s) that have been posted in Japan (NIS is located in "Tokai or "Aichi" -> "Seibu" -> "Owari Tobu"). Nagoya city and the northern suburbs of Aichi (Seto, Kasugai, Komaki, etc.) are all located in a region titled "Owari Tobu".
- The World Meteorological Organization offers a good site on current severe weather conditions around the world.
Courtesy of the Nagoya International Center
Typhoons, like their Atlantic Ocean hurricane cousins, are massive clusters of cumulonimbus clouds with cyclonic rotation that cause strong winds and large amounts of rain. They are formed from tropical depressions that originate in the tropics and gradually weaken as they move north. Technically speaking, typhoons are tropical cyclones with winds greater than 73 mph (118kmph) and typhoons with wind speeds of at least 150 mph (241 kmph), equivalent to a strong Category 4 hurricane, are dubbed Super Typhoons. On average 27 North-Western Pacific typhoons are recorded every year and on average 3 out of these 27 make land-fall in Japan.
August has the highest occurrence of typhoons, but from mid-September, high-altitude west winds over the region become stronger causing typhoons to move in an arc from southern seas towards Japan. This in turn can activate weather fronts resulting in large amounts of prolonged rainfall before the typhoon passes by, raising water levels in rivers and saturating the ground. The typhoon’s heavy rain becomes the final blow, causing major disasters such as river flooding and landslides.
Typhoon Saomai and 2004’s Typhoon Tokage may be still fresh in the memory of many, but older residents will tell you that the September 1959 Ise Bay Typhoon – known internationally as Super Typhoon Vera, was the strongest typhoon to hit Japan in recorded history and had a much deeper impact on the area. Making landfall just south of Nagoya, the typhoon caused over 5000 deaths, injured over 32,000 and left over 1.5 million homeless. The combination of the death toll and the great number of people left homeless contributed to large outbreaks of dysentery, gangrene, and tetanus.
How to Prepare for a Typhoon
- In case of electrical blackout, prepare a flashlight, radio, & fresh batteries.
- Pay attention to weather information on radio or television.
- Reinforce windows and be sure to close any sliding shutters if you have them.
- Bring objects at risk of being blown away (such as potted plants or laundry poles) indoors, or fasten them securely.
- Do not go outdoors unnecessarily.
- In areas at risk of flooding, move household goods to a higher location.
- Prepare food, drinking water & medical supplies.
- Prepare valuables for quick evacuation.
- In at-risk areas, prepare for quick evacuation at all times.
- Confirm the locations of Emergency Evacuation Areas beforehand at your local ward office.
Evacuation Orders - Nagoya residents will be notified about flood evacuation orders by TV, radio, and loudspeaker vans in the event that evacuation becomes necessary. An Evacuation Order Preparation Announcement is made when heavy rain or sudden increases in river levels may result in a situation requiring evacuation allowing residents ample time to prepare for an evacuation. An Evacuation order will be issued if rivers start to flood or are in danger of breaking their banks, if there is a danger of flooding caused by Drainage Pump Control, or if there is a danger of sediment disasters including landslides occurring.
Emergency Evacuation Areas ("Hinanjo") – If during a flood or earthquake your residence becomes un-livable or you feel you are in danger, then temporary accommodation and assistance can be obtained at your nearest emergency evacuation center. Each ward in Nagoya will have numerous centers available. Emergency Evacuation Center location maps for each ward are available in English from ward offices or from the Nagoya International Center 3F Information Counter. Alternatively, they can be downloaded at http://www.city.nagoya.jp/global/en/livinginnagoya/emergency/map/.
Flood Hazard Maps (Flood in Japanese is "Kouzui") – Do you live in a flood danger zone? 12 of Nagoya’s 16 wards have one of Nagoya’s three major rivers, the Shirakawa, Shonai, or Tempaku passing through them and have issued flood hazard maps highlighting the potential flooding risk each neighborhood is in. The four other wards-Naka, Showa, Chikusa and Meito, are regarded as low risk areas. Maps for each ward are visible on-line at http://www.city.nagoya.jp key search word: "Kouzui" (in Japanese only)
Disaster Victim Certificate ("Risai Shomei-sho") - If you become a flood or earthquake casualty, a risai shomei-sho is needed when applying for tax deductions or a tax reprieve. Application forms can be obtained at city, ward, town or village offices.
Nagoya International Center Disaster Language Volunteers – When a natural disaster occurs, NIC Disaster Language Volunteers interpret information for foreign residents who do not have an adequate understanding of Japanese. If you are interested in becoming a volunteer, contact the Exchange and Cooperation Projects Division on the Nagoya International Center 4F. Tel: 052-581-5689 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Special thanks to the Nagoya International Center for allowing the reprint of this article on the NIS webpage!