The curses and blessings of typhoon Ma-on.

Typhoons are common this time of the year through out Asia and here in Japan they are seen as part of life just like earthquakes and tsunamis are as well. The country is well prepared for natural disasters and most people do not really worry nor concern them self with any of those natural occurrences . Through out their lives they have been put through countless drills , those especially during their school years from elementary through high school.
Even though all are well prepared and always ready, every now and then nature still comes up with the unexpected, such as the March 11th earthquake, that in it self did cause only little damage. It was the tsunami that followed which devastated the East Coast region of Japan with a force and height that Japan has never seen before nor expected to be possible. The present typhoon, "Ma-on" is also one of these exceptional powerful forces with 1170 millimetres of rain in Shikoku leaving one dead, three missing, fifty nine injured and hundreds evacuated. The town of Odai in the Mie prefecture received 1000 millimetres of rain which flooded 900 residences and caused some land slides. Here in the Kanto area up to 600 millimetres of rainfall are expected in the next twenty four hours, since Ma-on is now headed our way. So far the Kanto area received 80 millimetres of rainfall due to this typhoon and another 600 millimetres will flood some lover areas and a land slide warning was issued by the Japanese meteorological agency as well as a coastal warning since the weaves can reach 12 metres high now. This typhoon has already caused power outages and left much damage behind. The roofs that where covered with blue tarps and sand bags due to the March 11 earthquake are now seeing further damage broth to them. The sand bags are no match for a typhoon. I put steel rims from old tractors on our roof, each weighing 40 kilograms, those spread along the entire roof at half a metre from each other and attached with steel wire to the roof and the tarp. They just got lifted up by the powerful winds that managed get under the tarp and propelled those rims into the air breaking the wires and landing them tree metres from the roof as if they where merely toys. Fortunately no was was close by at the time. The tarps are gone from many roofs now and some put new tarps up but this time inside their houses to cover furniture and other belongings. Nevertheless, the centre of the typhoon is still approaching and may cause more damage. The temperatures fluctuated greatly as well, from plus 32 degree Celsius down to 18 degree Celsius with in minutes. It is as if the elements where playing roller-coaster. However, there is also a good side to all this, the air is crisp and clean, the toxic fumes from farmers burning their plastics after harvesting their vegetables and this on an almost daily basis in this area are gone now due to this storm, nor can they burn more plastic at the moment either, which I welcome. Even though the plastic has to be recycled by law it is still being burned by way to many and those toxic fumes are just as bad as the radiation emitted by our nuclear power plant since the melt down of three reactors last March. I do enjoy the clean air for now and try not to worry about my roof any longer. I think it may be time to give up on the roof and figure out a cheep way to tear down the building and recycle as much material as possible.    

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