Double blow for Tokyo

Two tropical storms are affecting Asia and both of them are heading towards Japan.

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    Residents wade through a flooded street in Manila after Typhoon Guchol passed nearby enhancing the heavy rains. [AFP]

    It is set to be a very stormy week across Japan with the arrival of two tropical systems in as many days. Typhoon Guchol is expected to hit Kyushu by Tuesday followed quickly afterwards by Tropical Storm Talim which is likely to sweep in along a similar path.

    Typhoon Guchol is currently crossing the Ryukyu Islands and is moving in a general northeasterly direction at around 17kph. At one stage it was a super typhoon with sustained winds close 250kph.

    Those winds have eased over the last 24 hours and will continue to do so, but Guchol will still be a powerful storm by the time it reaches the main islands with winds still approaching 160kph and gusts of around 200kph.

    The storm is forecast to arrive just to the west of Tokyo in the early hours of Wednesday and the main concern is going to be torrential rains. Heavy rain could lead to mudslides and flash flooding, especially in the mountains just to the west of Tokyo.

    Elsewhere, Tropical Storm Talim currently lies around 380km to the southwest of Hong Kong. It is already adding to the well documented flooding across the south of China and will continue to do so for the next two days before squeezing through the Taiwan Strait.

    Taiwan has seen a huge amount of rain in recent weeks. Six people have died and two remain missing. Thousands of people have been evacuated island-wide in the worst flooding since Typhoon Morakot hit the island three years ago, triggering massive mudslides that claimed more than 600 lives.

    The storm will clear Taiwan midweek and move northeastwards towards Japan by the weekend. It will weaken rapidly in terms of the winds and on this occasion the storm should pass to the south of Tokyo. However, further heavy rain and flash flooding would still appear to be inevitable.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


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