Emergency Message for Kansai: Typhoon Guchol / Typhoon 1204

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This emergency message is an update to the message sent about Typhoon 12-04W (Guchol) that was issued on Monday, June 18.  This emergency message is being issued to alert U.S. citizens residing or traveling in Kansai region of Japan that the Japan Meteorological Agency has issued alerts for a Category 4 equivalent storm, Typhoon Guchol.  As of 1000 (local time) on Tuesday, June 19, it was located off the shore of Shikoku island at 29.90 degrees north latitude, 131.8 degrees east longitude, traveling to North Northeast 50km/h (31mph) in the direction of Honshu.  It is expected to approach closest to Osaka on the evening of June 19.  The U.S. Consulate General in Osaka-Kobe will close to the public at 1500 local time. 

The Japan Meteorological Agency reports that the maximum sustained wind speed near the center of the storm is currently 35m/s (78mph) with gusts of 50m/s (112mph).  Typhoon Guchol’s winds are expected to maintain strength over the next 72 hours.  Sustained maximum winds when the storm makes landfall on Osaka at around 2000 (local time) and are predicted to be as high as 15m/s (34mph), gusting to 45m/s (101mph).

Throughout the day of June 19, the storm is forecast to pass near Shikoku, and pass through the Kansai and Kanto regions, gradually weakening to tropical storm strength, and bringing heavy rains as it passes over the Tohoku region and eastern Hokkaido.  Due to the possibility of strong winds, heavy rain, flooding, and landslides, some municipalities have announced preparations for evacuation.  Several Japanese rail and airlines have also announced limited or cancelled service in areas affected by the storm.  U.S. citizens in Japan in the affected regions should continue to monitor local news outlets and consult with local authorities for updates as the storm approaches.

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/JTWC/

The Embassy will continue to monitor Typhoon Guchol’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).

The U.S. Embassy encourages U.S. citizens to review “A Safe Trip Abroad,” at (http://travel.state.gov/travel/tips/safety/safety_1747.html) which includes valuable security information for those both living and traveling abroad.  The Department of State also has information about the 2012 Hurricane and Tropical Cyclone Season at: http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/pa/pa_5727.html.  All U.S. citizens in Japan are urged to enroll online at the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) (https://step.state.gov/step/).  Enrolling gives U.S. Citizens access to updated information on travel and security within Belgium and makes it easier for the Embassy to contact citizens in case of emergency.  You can also download our free Smart Traveler iPhone App (http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/smart-traveler/id442693988?mt=8) to have travel information at your fingertips.

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.

Additional information: http://yokosonews.com/news/typhoon-guchol-2012-4-overpass-japan/

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
http://japan.usembassy.gov/e/tacs-main.html
The U.S. Embassy serves Americans in Tokyo, Chiba, Fukushima, Gunma, Ibaraki, Kanagawa, Nagano, Niigata, Saitama, Shizuoka, Tochigi, Yamagata and Yamanashi.

Consulates:

•    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.
http://osaka.usconsulate.gov/

•    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.
http://nagoya.usconsulate.gov/

•    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.
http://fukuoka.usconsulate.gov/

•    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.
http://sapporo.usconsulate.gov/

•    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 http://naha.usconsulate.gov/

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