Typhoon slams Japan and renews nuclear safety concerns

Hundreds of thousands evacuate amid "unprecendented" rain and floods

Topics: Japan, Typhoon, Natural Disasters, Fukushima, Nuclear Power, ,

Winds topping 100 mph lashed mainland Japan late last night as an “unprecedented” amount of rainfall flooded parts of Kyoto. Trains in Tokyo and surrounding areas were suspended, planes were grounded and some 260,000 were ordered to evacuate to shelters.

Typhoon Man-yi injured hundreds across the country and has left at least two dead — both were women in their seventies whose bodies were found in mudslides. The AP reports that three others are missing and presumed to have been swept away by swollen rivers.



At the Fukushima nuclear power plant, damaged two years ago in a different natural disaster, workers pumped rainwater in an effort to prevent it from mixing with the plant’s storage tanks of contaminated water, which are susceptible to leaks. Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO), the plant’s operator, reports that the rainwater is being released into the Pacific and is believed to be untainted.

TEPCO, however, does not have a history of honesty and transparency when it comes to reporting on the escalating situation at the plant. Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Authority is stepping in to re-measure the radioactivity of the rainwater and will then decide whether its release qualifies as a nuclear “event,” in which case an official safety report would need to be made.

Lindsay Abrams

Lindsay Abrams is a staff writer at Salon, reporting on all things sustainable. Follow her on Twitter @readingirl, email labrams@salon.com.

Featured Slide Shows

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Facebook
  • 1 of 11
  • Close
  • Fullscreen
  • Thumbnails

    "Roman Candle" turns 20: Secrets of Elliott Smith's accidental masterpiece (slideshow)

    Elliott and the friends with whom he recorded in middle school in Texas (photo courtesy of Dan Pickering)

    "Roman Candle" turns 20: Secrets of Elliott Smith's accidental masterpiece (slideshow)

    Heatmiser publicity shot (L-R: Tony Lash, Brandt Peterson, Neil Gust, Elliott Smith) (photo courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)

    "Roman Candle" turns 20: Secrets of Elliott Smith's accidental masterpiece (slideshow)

    Elliott and JJ Gonson (photo courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)

    "Roman Candle" turns 20: Secrets of Elliott Smith's accidental masterpiece (slideshow)

    "Stray" 7-inch, Cavity Search Records (photo courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)

    "Roman Candle" turns 20: Secrets of Elliott Smith's accidental masterpiece (slideshow)

    Elliott's Hampshire College ID photo, 1987

    "Roman Candle" turns 20: Secrets of Elliott Smith's accidental masterpiece (slideshow)

    Elliott with "Le Domino," the guitar he used on "Roman Candle" (courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)

    "Roman Candle" turns 20: Secrets of Elliott Smith's accidental masterpiece (slideshow)

    Full "Roman Candle" record cover (courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)

    "Roman Candle" turns 20: Secrets of Elliott Smith's accidental masterpiece (slideshow)

    Elliott goofing off in Portland (courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)

    "Roman Candle" turns 20: Secrets of Elliott Smith's accidental masterpiece (slideshow)

    Heatmiser (L-R: Elliott Smith, Neil Gust, Tony Lash, Brandt Peterson)(courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)

    "Roman Candle" turns 20: Secrets of Elliott Smith's accidental masterpiece (slideshow)

    The Greenhouse Sleeve -- Cassette sleeve from Murder of Crows release, 1988, with first appearance of Condor Avenue (photo courtesy of Glynnis Fawkes)

  • Recent Slide Shows

Comments

Loading Comments...