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Monday, July 18, 2011

Typhoon Ma-On Approaches Japan

Image courtesy of: www.usno.navy.mil

Tepco Rushes to Cover Fukushima Nuclear Plant as Typhoon Ma-on Nears Japan (Bloomberg.com)

Tokyo Electric Power Co. is rushing to install a cover over a building at its crippled Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear plant to shield it from wind and rain as Typhoon Ma-on approaches Japan’s coast from the south.

Work on the cover for the turbine building of the No. 3 reactor started at about 8:30 a.m. today, Junichi Matsumoto, a general manager at the utility known as Tepco, said at briefing in Tokyo. The transfer of tainted water for storage in a barge docked next to the plant was halted, spokesman Satoshi Watanabe said by telephone.

The eye of Ma-on, which is categorized as “extremely strong,” was about 420 kilometers (260 miles) southeast of the city of Kagoshima at 4 p.m. today, or 1,200 kilometers from the Fukushima plant, according to the website of the Japan Meteorological Agency.

The storm was moving north at 25 kilometers per hour with winds blowing at 157 kph. Ma-on is forecast to continuing heading north and may cross coast of the southwestern island of Kyushu after 6 a.m. tomorrow. A forecast track from the U.S. Navy Joint Typhoon Warning Center indicates the storm may pass over the Fukushima plant by July 21.

The Japanese weather agency issued warnings for floods and high waves along the southern coast from Okinawa to Tokyo.

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