Violent winds and rain have battered Japan, leaving four people dead and more than 400 injured. Thousands of people are without power and officials are urging people to stay inside until the storms are over. Winds of more than 93 mph have been recorded in three different Prefectures. There were reports of trucks being blown over in Tonami, Toyama Prefecture.
The storms have caused more than 600 flights to be canceled andcommuter trains are no longer running. The storms, which also have been causing blinding snow blizzards, are expected for another two days. Coastal regions are experiencing high waves in addition to the winds.
The Meteorological Agency has warned that much of northern Japan will continue to experience the heavy winds as the storms move across Honshu, the country’s main island. Authorities say that two people were killed when awarehouse collapsed. Another man fell off a roof and a woman was crushed when the wind uprooted a tree.
Tohoku Electric Power Company said that two of their nuclear power plants that are located in northern Japan had to stop cooling a storage pool for spent fuel. The power company said that there wereno safety concerns and the cooling was able to begin again about 30 minutes later.
The nuclear power plant that had reactors meltdown after the tsunami last year was not affected. TheFuuskhima Daiich plant was the site of the world’s worst nuclear disaster than Chernobyl. Today, theJapanese government announced that they would not restart several reactors at nuclear plants around the country until a safety standard can presented at the next ministers’ meeting later this week.
Storms like these are not unusual in May when the seasons are changing from winter to spring. However, the storms usually occur east of the archipelago and not in the Sea of Japan.