[QODLink]
Weather
Typhoon Ma-On hits Japan
The Shikoku area was hit on Tuesday and torrential rains were expected until Friday as Fukushima workers take caution.
Last Modified: 19 Jul 2011 09:15
Typhoon Ma-On in the western Pacific Ocean [NASA]

Japan has been hit by a torrential typhoon which is expected to affect the country until Friday, prompting safety warnings at the earthquake and tsunami-damaged Fukushima nuclear plant.

At 0800GMT (1700 local time) on Tuesday, the centre of Typhoon Ma-On was located approximately 45km south of Shikoku, Japan.

Effects of the storm could be felt into northern Honshu with clouds and rain bands extending 900km northeast.

With winds as fast as 198km per hour, the storm has prompted workers at the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant to take safety measures.

While the typhoon is not expected to hit the region that is home to the plant, torrential rain is feared in the disaster-ravaged northeast through Thursday.

"Emergency workers reduced the amount of cooling water to inject into reactor numbers one and two out of fears that rain water may increase contaminated water levels as the typhoon comes," said TEPCO spokesperson Ai Tanaka.

"We are also making preparations to protect the facility as high waves are expected."

Ma-On is expected to stay close to the Japanese coast or just onshore of Shikoku as it moves to the northeast. 

It is then expected to hit land just south of Osaka on around 00GMT on Wednesday. By then, winds are expected to have have decreased to the intensity of a tropical storm.

The Japanese Meteorological Agency’s radar has been indicating rainfall amounts for Shikoku and central Honshu between 30 and 50mm per hour. 

Until 48 hours after the storm first hit, and as it progresses to the east, total accumulations across the region could exceed well over 400mm. 

Flooding, wind damage and storm surge will continue to be factors until the storm returns to the Pacific Ocean, expected on Friday morning.

Source:
Al Jazeera and agencies
Topics in this article
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Israel's Operation Protective Edge is the third major offensive on the Gaza Strip in six years.
Muslims and Arabs in the US say they face discrimination in many areas of life, 13 years after the 9/11 attacks.
At one UN site alone, approximately four children below the age of five are dying each day.
Featured
'I'm dying anyway, one piece at a time' said Steve Fobister, who suffers from disabilities caused by mercury poisoning.
The world's newest professional sport comes from an unlikely source: video games.
The group's takeover of farms in Qaraqosh, 30km from Mosul, has caused fear among residents, and a jump in food prices.
Protests and online activism in recent months have brought a resurgence of ethnic Oromo nationalism in Ethiopia.
Chemotherapy is big business, but some US doctors say it could be overused and are pushing for cheaper and better care.
join our mailing list