On the far side of the world, panic set in during the weekend that what was being refereed to as a “super typhoon” named Vongfong, was on a collision course for Japan, according to multiple news outlets.
The massive storm spread wide enough for NASA’s satellite, Aqua, to showcase the bright white storm masking the ocean below. Although the images have been called “breath-taking” and “beautiful,” this deadly typhoon set the people in Japan into panic, so much panic, that it is reported that over 200,000 people attempted to evacuate before it reached landfall, according to DNAindia.com.
According to South China Morning Post, the local government issued an evacuation notice to 1.76 million people nationwide. Fortunately for Japan, the typhoon’s wind speeds dropped from its highest peak of 146 mph, down to 110 mph on Sunday, the South China Morning Post said. This is the equivalent of a tropical storm before becoming a categorized hurricane.
Typhoon Vongfong still caused damage, leaving two people dead, more than 100 people injured, and one person missing. According to The Japan Times, the two found dead were 72-year-old Ehime Prefecture and Tottori Prefecture, who was in his late 90s.
The missing person, who has yet to be named, is 26, said The Japan Times.
The Japan Times also reported this was the largest storm this year for Japan, but not the first. In fact, a week before Typhoon Vongfong hit, another storm struck.
Typhoon Phanfone, on almost an identical path, hit the main island of Japan leaving 11 dead or missing last week, said The Japan Times. Nearly all air transportation and most schools have been closed due to the back-to-back storms.
In Okinawa, three U.S. airmen were killed after being swept to sea by Typhoon Phanfone, according to Bloomberg.com.
These two storms are part of the 19 typhoons that have hit the Pacific this season. Japan usually averages 11 per year.
According to Latin American Herald Tribune, over 60,000 homes did not have electrical power due to high winds and heavy rain.
Once Vongfong reached Tokyo, winds were down to a high of 67 mph, which is almost 50 mph less than when it originally made landfall in Japan.
The Pacific has been dealt a devastating blow, as Cyclone Hudhud hit India and killed at least 24 people and injuring at least 75 according to ABC News.
It is also reported by ABC News that more than 80,000 huts that belong to poor tribal people were demolished.
Even though the Typhoon Vongfong died down, it is still was the worst storm this year in the Pacific, although not as deadly as Cyclone Hudhud.