Asia is having some of its most violent weather everrecorded, and the latest typhoon to strike Japan hasgenerated the highest waves ever recorded in that country,and killed eighty people. The rash of earthquakes that hasaccompanied the typhoons are believed to be due, at least inpart, to the face that the entire country is literallywaterlogged, and wetness is causing instability in manyfaults, some of them inactive for thousands of years.

Typhoon Nock-Ten

Typhoon Nock-Ten devastated the Taiwanese capital of Taipei,causing school and business closings all along the easternshore. The latest in a series of destructive typhoons,Nock-Ten featured sustained winds of up to 145 kilometersper hour. The danger of torrential rains, damaging winds,and landslides continues throughout the north and eastregions of the island.

Typhoon Tokage

The largest wave in Japanese history at 24 meters high (80ft), was recorded last week off the coast of Muroto on theisland of Shikoku in southern Japan. The wave was a part ofTyphoon Tokage which has taken eighty lives so far, three ofthose in Muroto. At least 12 others are missing and 299injured all over Japan.

Earthquakes roll through Japan

Mere days after one of the largest storms in recent years,1,200 Japanese were injured and at least 25 killed in threeearthquakes of magnitudes ranging from 5.9 to 6.8 thatstruck north of Tokyo last Saturday. Upwards of 1,400buildings were destroyed, and the subsequent blackouts,water main bursts, and rubble strewn streets have maderescue efforts and supply deliveries difficult.

The first earthquake was centered in Ojiya, but the tremorwere so powerful as to cause multi-story Tokyo skyscrapersto sway for up to a minute and a bullet train to be knockedfrom its track. It was the first derailment in the fortyyear history of the train.

In total, 61,000 people were evacuated to shelters.Aftershocks continued throughout the weekend, but there wereno reports of additional damage or deaths.

High tides cause havoc in Japanese Cities

Dykes and banks in Osaka and Nagoya may soon give way duehigh tides associated with the barrage of typhoons that havestruck the area this past storm season.

Global warming may also be to blame, given that rise in seawater temperature results in seawater swells. Despitefalling seawater temperatures along the eastern Japanesecoast, temperatures on the western coast are continuing torise.

Researchers at the National Institute for Earth Science andDisaster Prevention warn that if the trend of typhoons andseawater warming continues and dikes or banks are destroyed,the region including central Osaka along the Yodo River, aswell as the Ise Bay region and Nagoya, will certainly besubmerged.

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