Some of you may have read Eustacia’s post on Typhoon Danas – the thing is that just a week after that (September – October is considered to be typhoon season in Japan) a typhoon of once-in-a-decade strength hit eastern Japan.
Danas did not really damage Tokyo that much because it lost most of its strength near Kyoto and Osaka, with Kyoto’s Arashiyama tourist district getting flooded very badly. However, this time, typhoon Wipha was scheduled to hit Eastern Japan without going through Western Japan first, with Tokyo scheduled to bear the brunt of it.
How does one describe a typhoon … Think about the worst kinds of rain in Singapore that will cause the whole of Bukit Timah to flood and artificial "ponds" to be created at Orchard Road. Add that to winds strong enough to snap tree branches and even flip cars over!
As in Eustacia’s case, it wasn’t that big a deal.
Don’t get me wrong – more than twenty people were killed in one of the outlying islands south of Tokyo, largely due to landslides. But the typhoon that was expected to pass directly over Tokyo fortunately veered off to the east ... and I slept through most of it.
News – which as in Eustacia’s case can spread very fast – we were informed at night that all classes in the first period the next morning were cancelled. My university’s policy was to then take a wait-and-see approach regarding the second period and beyond and a decision would be made at 8am the next day.
So we stayed up waiting for more news as we anticipated that the second period would be cancelled too. After all, a typhoon of this strength warrants it right?
Alas, it was not to be. 8am came and the school announced that classes would resume normally from the second period onwards. So you had a lot of moaning and grouchy university students deprived of sleep dragging themselves to school (lots did not though I presume). For me, I did have a class in the second period. However, while the school did not cancel it, the teacher (and many thanks to her) cancelled it of her own accord.
So, I slept in anyway. And had PE in the afternoon, because after a typhoon passes it’s amazing how fast the weather can clear. The bad thing is that typically in Japan directly after a typhoon passes the weather changes drastically by getting cold and marking the start of autumn.
The highest temperature today is 17 degrees and it’s going to get colder from here. Brr….
by Austin Zeng
- Austin also maintains a personal blog at zjakira.tumblr.com where he writes about his life in Japan.