The following major natural disasters have struck Japan between mid-June and mid-September.
1. An earthquake occurred on June 18, centered in the northern part of Osaka, with a magnitude of 6.1 on the Japan Meteorological Agency’s (JMA) Seismic Intensity Scale. Over 40,000 homes were damaged; 285 structures were destroyed; and 5 people were killed.
2. Major flooding took place between June 28 and July 8 in several sections of western Japan due to heavy rains caused by the effects of Typhoon No. 7, which was given the international name of Prapiroon. Floods also extended northward as far as Hokkaido. The heavy rains caused numerous landslides, which in addition to the flooding resulted in severe damage to many homes and the deaths of over 200 people.
3. Typhoon No. 21 came ashore on Sept. 4 in Shikoku as a major typhoon called “Jebi” in the international press, then crossed over Honshu and out into the Sea of Japan along Hokuriku on Sept. 5. It also continued up the western side of Hokkaido with strong winds and heavy rains, leaving a trail of destruction. Kansai International Airport in Osaka was forced to close due to flooding and damage to the bridge connecting it to the mainland. Over 2 million people were issued an evacuation advisory, and 9 people lost their lives.
4. A major earthquake on Sept. 6 struck the Iburi region in Hokkaido, with a magnitude of 7 on the JMA’s Seismic Intensity Scale. Occurring so shortly after the typhoon passed by Hokkaido, the resulting widespread landslides swallowed up many homes, killed 41 people, and caused the entire island to loose electric power due to the failure of a major electric power plant. As these events have occurred while this issue of KNL was being prepared, further details will be reported in the next issue. (Tr. TB)