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Emergency Message: Typhoon Guchol / Typhoon 1204

Okinawa typhoon season runs between June to November and 25% of Okinawa’s annual rain fall is brought by typhoons. Most typhoons occur during July, August, and September. Typhoonscan be very powerful and destructive, although similar to hurricanes they rarely reach the same level of force as the similar Atlantic storms. It’s best to stay indoors during a typhoonin Okinawato avoid injury or death from flying debris. English language typhoon information can be found on military weather radio stations 648 AM and 89.1 FM or at Typhoon Information (Japan Meteorological Agency) — Check out Chris Wilson’s blog for some typhoon tips! Here are some 0ther useful emergency information on typhoons and other disasters in Japan.

[Via the US Embassy in Tokyo] This message may also be viewed online at: http://japan.usembassy.gov/e/acs/tacs-alert-20120618.html

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 4” equivalent storm, Typhoon 1204 (Guchol).  This storm will also affect mainland Japan in the coming days.  As of 0950 (local time) on Monday, June 18, it was located 450 kilometers to the south of Okinawa at 22.10 degrees north latitude, 127.4 degrees east longitude, traveling to the north at 13 knots (25 km/h) in the direction of Okinawa. It is expected to approach closest to Okinawa on the night of June 18.

The U.S. Consulate General in Naha, Okinawa, and all U.S. military bases on Okinawa are expected to be closed to the public if or when we reach Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness (TCCOR) 1C (TCCOR 1 Caution).

TCCOR 1 Caution: Destructive winds of 50 knots or greater are anticipated within 12 hours. Actual winds are 34-49 knots.
All nonessential personnel will be released to their quarters at this time. DoDDS schools will close at this time. Staff and teachers return home or remain home. Base exchange, shops, Commissary, Shoppettes, Gas Station, Services facilities, Clubs, Restaurants, Recreational Facilities and Post Office will close. Movement about the base should be kept to a minimum. SFS will enforce “essential vehicles only”policy.(Reference Base O-Plan 32-1 “Base Disaster Operations Plan).

Closures of the Embassy or Consulates will be reported in updated messages.  The Kadena Weather Flight at Kadena Air Base is in TCCOR and currently at alert status 1, meaning Destructive winds of 50 knots or greater are anticipated within 12 hours. Actual winds are 34-49 knots.

TCCOR 1: Destructive winds of 50 knots or greater are anticipated within 12 hours. 
No school for DoDDS students. Staff and teachers will work normal hours, unless changed by DoDDS superintendent. Fill any containers you can use for water storage. If you live in low lying quarters, make arrangements to stay with a friend. Make final check of food and other supplies.

Be prepared for the alert status to be raised as the storm approaches. Kadena Airbase’s current TCCOR status and an explanation of the TCCOR scale may be viewed here: http://weather.kadenaforcesupport.com/update/tccor.htm

The Japan Meteorological Agency reports that the maximum sustained wind speed near the center of the storm is currently 85 knots (158 km/h) with gusts of 120 knots (222 km/h). Typhoon Guchol’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 120 knots, gusting to 222 knots.

Following Typhoon Guchol’s expected landfall on Okinawa, it is expected to weaken slightly and pass near to Kagoshima and Miyazaki Prefectures in southern Kyushu early on the morning of June 19.  Throughout the day of June 19, the storm is forecast to pass near Shikoku, and pass through the Kansai, Chubu, and Kanto regions, gradually weakening to tropical storm strength.  U.S. citizens in Japan in the affected regions should continue to monitor local news outlets 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/NOOC/nmfc-ph/RSS/jtwc/

We 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).

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
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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