Typhoon #15 Directly Hits Eastern Japan Before Returning to the Pacific

Typhoon #15 Brings Tree Down Atop Taxi
Strong wind brought a tree down on top of a taxi at Dōgenzaka, Shibuya, Tokyo. Photo taken at 18:43 PM September 21 by Miho Iketani.

Typhoon #15 Directly Hits Eastern Japan Before Returning to the Pacific
Yomiuri Shimbun: 台風15号、関東・東北直撃し太平洋上へ
1:42 AM September 22, 2011

After the strong Typhoon #15 came landward near Hamamatsu, Shizuoka at 2 PM September 21, and passed through the Kantō region. At present (midnight September 22) it is in the Pacific Ocean, 70 kilometers offshore of Kesennuma, Miyagi, and traveling northeast at a speed of 70 km/hr.

According to the Weather Bureau, the typhoon has gradually weakened while picking up speed and moving north along the northeastern coast. It is expected to enter the Hokkaido area in the morning, and the bureau has issued stern river flooding and landslide warnings. According to the Yomiuri Shimbun‘s count, as of midnight six people had died, six were missing, and 225 were injured. Over 420,000 people living in a broad stretch of land, from Shikoku to Tōhoku, had been ordered to evacuate their homes.

On the night of the 21st in Onagawa and Matsushima, Miyagi, flooding caused by heavy rains drove about 540 people out of their temporary housing (note: likely constructed after the March 11 disaster). The prefecture has requested that ground troops from the National Self Defense Force be sent to the two towns.

The last typhoon to come ashore on the eastern seaboard was October 2009’s Typhoon #18. As of midnight, air pressure at the eye of Typhoon #15 was 970 hectopaschals (note: the standard atmosphere is 1013.25 hPa). Its greatest wind speed was 35 meters per second (note: 126 km/hr, cf. wind speed converter), its greatest instantaneous wind speed 50 m/s (180 km/hr). The distance from the eye to the southeastern edge is 190 km. There are strong winds above 25 m/s in the area within the 70-km northwest radius of the storm. When the typhoon passed through central Tokyo just after 6 PM on the 21st, the highest recorded instantaneous wind speed was 36 m/s.

Within the capital, JR and private rail networks stopped all trains. Terminals like Shinjuku were full of commuters planning to return home from work. There was a long, snaking line in front of Shibuya Bus Terminal. JR East Headquarters estimated that the suspensions of service affected about 1.03 million commuters on 9 train lines, including Yamanote and Keihin-Tōhoku , and 880,000 metro users.

At one point, trains on the entire Tōkaidō Shinkansen line between Tokyo and Osaka were stopped, and trains between Mijima and Shizuoka was canceled for all of the 21st. A section of the Tōhoku Shinkansen line running north from Tokyo was also closed.

A 40 m/s gust of wind was recorded at 5:54 PM at Haneda Airport, the fastest in history, and about 430 flights were canceled. Strong winds cut electrical lines, among other damage, and 860,000 homes across 19 prefectures of the eastern seaboard and northeast were left without power. At about 5:35 PM in Sagamihara, Kanazawa Central Transportation Bus Driver Takayoshi Sakuma (45) was shocked by a fallen power line he was attempting to move. He was confirmed dead about an hour later.

Typhoon 15 Damage
Victims of Typhoon 15 (counter clockwise from upper left)
Gifu: One person dead in Mitake after being caught in a landslide. Two people missing after being carried away by Shirakawa River, etc.
Aichi: Two dead from falls while doing construction work.
Shizuoka: Three people missing after being carried away by Fuji River, etc.
Kanagawa: One dead in Sagamihara after touching a power line.
Tokyo: Roadside tree fell on top of taxi in Shibuya.
Miyagi: Army requested to be sent to Matsushima [after flooding drove people from temporary homes].









(2011年9月22日01時42分 読売新聞)

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