Jebi: Typhoon #21

Not even two weeks after the last one (actually: the last two) we’re having another typhoon! Jebi, typhoon #21 of this season has made landfall on Japan at around noon, and it is the strongest one to hit Japan since 1993. It will move directly over Kansai – Kobe, Osaka, Kyoto – one of the most densely populated areas in Japan.

There have been severe weather warnings, some places were even called to evacuate, and apparently, Kansai airport (which is situated on an island in Osaka Bay) is already flooded. Many places came prepared though, railway lines were closed this morning already, and many shops – even big department stores – were not even opened, as were Kyoto Zoo, Nijo Castle, the Film Studio Park, and other big tourist venues in Kyoto.

As for me, I am home and I won’t go out until this is over. The wind here is so strong that it pushes water through tiny gaps in the seals of my windows. The trees outside my building are mauled by the wind, and there are leaves everywhere on my balcony. I have removed the few things I had on there, but the heavy aircondition unit has been pushed all the way to the edge. Just some ten minutes ago I received a phone call from a friend who advised me to get some water in a bucket in case electricity is disrupted – something I hadn’t thought of myself. Obviously.

Okay, I’ll hunker down for the time being. I hope things will not get too bad. If you want further updates on the Jebi situation, head over to twitter and follow the special Jebi typhoon #21 hashtag: #台風21号台風21号

Update at 8:30 pm:
It’s over here in Kyoto. The worst wind and rain was at around 3 pm, but it seems that all in all, the typhoon passed Kyoto by in the west. By now everything is quiet again. I took a quick walk along the river to Demachiyanagi, there are lots of leaves and big branches on the ground, but that seems to be all. I did read that some people were injured at Kyoto station, where a tile of the glass ceiling fell down.

It seems to have been much worse in Kobe and Osaka: 2 people dead, many injured, some 600.000 households (temporary) without electricity. A large tanker was pushed into the bridge connecting Kansai airport with Osaka. The bridge is heavily damaged, one section got pushed out of alignment by a whole two lanes! The railroad there seems damaged too. It will take ages until this is repaired – if you’re going to/from Kansai airport any time soon, there will be enormous delays!