Typhoon Muifa

[Via the US Embassy – Tokyo] This emergency message is being issued to alert U.S. citizens residing or traveling in Okinawa, Japan that the Japan Meteorological Agency has issued alerts for a Category 3 storm, Typhoon 11W (Muifa).  As of 0100 (local time) on Tuesday, August 02, it was located 907 kilometers to the southeast at 20.6 degrees north latitude, 134.1 degrees east longitude, traveling to the northwest at 09 knots (17 km/h) in the direction of Okinawa. It is expected to pass directly over Okinawa around 1500 (local time) on Thursday, August 4. The U.S. Consulate General in Naha, Okinawa, and all U.S. military bases on Okinawa are expected to be closed to the public on Thursday, August 4 and Friday, August 5.

The Japan Meteorological Agency reports that the maximum sustained wind speed near the center of the storm is currently 85 knots (157 km/h) with gusts of 120 knots (222 km/h). Typhoon Maifu’s winds are expected to maintain strength over the next 72 hours. Sustained maximum winds when the storm makes landfall on Okinawa are predicted to be as high as 75 knots, gusting to 115.
The Kadena Weather Flight at Kadena Air Base is in Tropical Cyclone Condition Of Readiness (TCCOR) and currently at alert status 4, meaning that destructive winds of 50 knots or greater are possible within the next 72 hours. Residents should stock up on emergency supplies of food, water, and cash in case of storm-related power outages. Be prepared for the alert status to be raised as the storm approaches. At TCCOR 2 all outside items should be removed or secured.

For further details, see either of the following websites: Japan Meteorological Agency: http://www.jma.go.jp/en/typh/ U.S. Navy Joint Typhoon Warning Center’s Tropical Cyclone Warning: http://www.usno.navy.mil/NOOC/nmfc-ph/RSS/jtwc/warnings/wp1111.gif

We will continue to monitor Typhoon Maifu’s track and will issue updated messages as appropriate. Please monitor the typhoon’s track by listening to the radio, watching television, or monitoring AFN radio at 89.1 FM. Locate shelter, monitor media reports, and follow all official instructions. Carry your travel documents at all times (i.e. U.S. Passport, Birth Certificate, picture ID’s, etc.) or secure them in a safe, waterproof location. You should also contact friends and family in the United States with updates about your whereabouts.

Additional information on hurricanes and storm preparedness may be found on our “Hurricane/Typhoon Season” webpage, and on the “Natural Disasters” page of the Bureau of Consular Affairs website. Updated information on travel in Japan may be obtained from the Department of State by calling 1-888-407-4747 within the United States and Canada, or from overseas, 1-202-501-4444. These numbers are available from 8:00 am to 8:00 p.m., Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).

Please continue to monitor the Embassy’s website, http://japan.usembassy.gov/, for updated information. Please consult the Country Specific Information Sheet for Japan, available on the Bureau of Consular Affairs website at http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/cis/cis_1148.html.

For any emergencies involving U.S. citizens, please contact the American Citizens Services (ACS) Unit of either the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo or one of the U.S. Consulates in Japan listed below:

U.S. Embassy in Tokyo
American Citizen Services
1-10-5 Akasaka, Minato-ku, Tokyo 107-8420
Tel: 03-3224-5174
After Hours: 03-3224-5000
Fax: 03-3224-5856
The U.S. Embassy serves Americans in Tokyo, Chiba, Fukushima, Gunma, Ibaraki, Kanagawa, Nagano, Niigata, Saitama, Shizuoka, Tochigi, Yamagata and Yamanashi.


•    Osaka-Kobe:
11-5, Nishitenma 2-chome, Kita-ku, Osaka 530-8543; Tel: 06-6315-5912, Fax: 06-6315-5914; serving Americans in Osaka, Aichi, Ehime, Fukui, Gifu, Hiroshima, Hyogo, Ishikawa, Kagawa, Kochi, Kyoto, Mie, Nara, Okayama, Shimane, Shiga, Tokushima, Tottori, Toyama, and Wakayama prefectures.

•    Nagoya:
Nagoya International Center Bldg. 6th floor, 1-47-1 Nagono, Nakamura-ku, Nagoya 450-0001; Tel (052) 581-4501, Fax: (052) 581-3190; providing emergency consular services only (including death and arrest cases) for Americans living in Aichi, Gifu, and Mie prefectures.

•    Fukuoka:
5-26, Ohori 2-chome, Chuo-ku, Fukuoka 810-0052; Tel: 092-751-9331, Fax: 092-713-9222; serving Americans in Fukuoka, Kagoshima, Kumamoto, Miyazaki, Nagasaki, Oita, Saga and Yamaguchi prefectures.

•    Sapporo:
Kita 1-jo, Nishi 28-chome, Chuo-ku, Sapporo 064-0821; Tel: 011-641-1115, Fax: 011-643-1283; serving Americans in Akita, Aomori, Hokkaido, Iwate and Miyagi prefectures.

•    Naha:
2-1-1 Toyama, Urasoe City, Okinawa 901-2104; Phone: 098.876.4211, Fax: 098.876.4243, DSN: 645-7323; serving Americans in Okinawa and the Amami Oshima Island group

Source: US Embassy Tokyo
Being prepared for a typhoon means keeping informed on the progress and severity of the storm, and taking some common-sense precautions to minimize the problems a typhoon may cause for you.

Typhoons 101

A typhoon is a large tropical cyclone, a meteorological phenomenon also known as a hurricane. These storms, accompanied by heavy rainfall, can cover areas of up to 500 miles (800 km) in diameter and generate winds up to 180 miles (290 km) an hour. The typhoon season in Japan runs from May through October, with most activity from July to September.

Typhoons that hit Japan are often accompanied by damaging high tides. Persons living in areas close to the ocean are especially at risk. Landslides are also a serious concern during periods of heavy rain. Conditions for a landslide are particularly dangerous after rain has fallen at a rate of 20 mm or more an hour or when 100 mm of rain falls nonstop.

Keeping Informed

Weather watches (chuiho) are calls for “caution” when it has been predicted that damage may occur as a result of winds and rain brought about by bad weather. Warnings (keiho), which are much stronger than watches (chuiho), are released when forecasters predict that a storm will cause heavy widespread damage. When accompanied by an approaching typhoon, “heavy rain and flooding warnings” (oame-kozui keiho) or “heavy rain information” (oame ni kansuru joho) are also signs that dangerous weather conditions are present.

  • For English-language information in many parts of the Kanto area, listen to Inter-FM at 76.1, Yokohama FM at 84.7 or the US military radio station at AM 810.
  • For other areas try Fukuoka, Love FM 76.1 MHz.English-language radio information may not be available in other areas; check local listings.
  • Television: If your TV is equipped to receive dual-language broadcasts, NHK news at 7 pm includes detailed weather information.
  • Joint Typhoon Warning Center: The U.S. Navy has the Joint Typhoon Warning Center with good satellite weather maps available online.
  • The Japan Meteorological Agency’s English-language website provides information on typhoons and other weather-related topics.
  • This site from weather.com has current online radar images of Japan and lots of information in English. The TBS website has a usefulspecial typhoon page.
  • Weather information online is also available at a number of sites, including www.cnn.com. Type the term “japan weather” into your favorite search engine, such as www.google.com.
  • Telephone: Recorded information is available from the US Air Force base at Yokota by dialing 0425-52-2511, listening to a brief recording, waiting for a separate dial tone and then dialing 5-4174.
  • Recorded information is also available from the US Naval base at Yokosuka by dialing 0468-21-1910, and dialing extension 243-5155.
  • Recorded information in Japanese is available by dialing 177. NHK news at AM 693 is another Japanese language resource.
Take Precautions
  • Secure or move inside outdoor items such as toys, grills, bicycles, furniture, plants and anything moveable on the balcony. Move potted plants and other heavy objects away from windows inside as well.
  • Set your freezer to the coldest temperature setting to minimize spoilage if the power is cut off.
  • Watch for leaks around windows and doors. If the wind is strong enough, water may be blown into your home even if the windows are closed. Have handy towels, rags and mops.
  • If the storm becomes severe, move into a hallway or area where there is the least exposure to external glass windows.
  • Draw curtains across the windows to prevent against flying glass should windows crack.
  • If a window breaks, place a mattress or sofa seat over the broken pane and secure it there with a heavy piece of furniture.
  • A window on the side of the house away from the approaching storm should be cracked a few inches. This will compensate for the differences of indoor and outdoor air pressure.
  • Remember that typhoons have “eyes”, areas in their center where the weather appears calm. If the eye passes over your area, it may appear that the storm has finished, with winds then picking up again as the remainder of the storm arrives.
  • After the storm is over, check for broken glass, fallen trees and downed power lines which may present safety hazards near children’s school bus stops, outdoor trash areas, around your car, etc.