Strong Typhoon Heads for Japan Nuclear Plant
TEHRAN (Tasnim) - A typhoon, described as the “strongest in 10 years,” was closing in on Japan Tuesday, on a path that will take it towards the precarious Fukushima nuclear power plant.
Typhoon Wipha, packing winds of nearly 200 kilometres (125 miles) per hour near its centre and bringing heavy rains, was in the Pacific south of Japan Tuesday evening and moving north at 35 kilometres per hour, the Japan Meteorological Agency said.
It was forecast to reach an area off the Tokyo metropolitan area by early Wednesday and later in the day would be off the coast of Fukushima where the crippled nuclear power plant sits.
“It is the strongest typhoon in 10 years to pass the Kanto region (Tokyo and its vicinity),” Hiroyuki Uchida, the agency’s chief forecaster, told a news conference, AFP reported.
“It is expected to have a great impact on the traffic systems in the metropolitan area during commuting hours,” he said.
As the weather agency issued warnings of torrential rain and strong winds, the operator of the Fukushima plant, Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO), said it was bracing for the storm after a series of leaks of radiation-polluted water.