Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Damn work gets in the way!

Not much to say tonight, tomorrow is a work day up here. After going out to an Izikaya,(Japanese drinking restaurant) have had more than my fair share of beer and food. A good time, but now I'm sleepy.

Have been watching the Typhoon coverage down in Kyushu. Nagasaki and Kyushu are being hit hard. However, loss of life has been small:

Typhoon Nabi, whose name means "butterfly" in Korean, was traveling north-northwest at 15 kph (10 mph), heading directly for the densely populated southern island of Kyushu.

The Meteorological Agency expects Nabi to swerve to the east over the next 24 hours, putting it on course to batter much of Japan and southern and eastern parts of South Korea.

Television pictures showed coastal areas of Amami Oshima being engulfed by waves that national broadcaster NHK said were up to nine meters high.

At least four people were injured on Kyushu as the storm approached the island,
police said.

Japan's top government spokesman, Hiroyuki Hosoda, said the country's military, police, firefighters and coast guard were on standby.

Hundreds of flights in and out of Kyushu were canceled on Monday, NHK said. Trains were also canceled and expressways closed in southern parts of the island. Nearly 20,000 households were without electricity on Kyushu, NHK said.

South Korean airlines have canceled about two dozen domestic flights to its southern cities
due to high winds and airline officials said the number of cancellations would likely increase as the typhoon draws near.

South Korean weathermen said the worst of the typhoon would hit from about Tuesday afternoon
Comparisons with Katrina are invalid in my opinion because the populations are so different. Japan makes disaster preparedness a priority, and while it seems silly every year when they have "Disaster preparedness day", it pays dividends at a time like now. Also because of the earth quake danger, while smaller, the homes are built sturdier. Give it a week and Kyushu will be back in business. The terrain is different also with lots of mountains which help disperse the storm. Certainly there are no levees to break.

Also Japan spends a lot of money on Civil Engineering projects, and at times like these the government overspending pays dividends. That type of government pork would not be acceptable, even by the standards of the current US Congress.

Still, perhaps there is a lesson here for the future. Preparedness pays. Gotta work tomorrow so need to sign off now............

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