It turns out that the typhoon has downsized to a category 2 instead of the predicted category 4 typhoon by the time Ma-On hit Japan. The Japanese evacuated a few thousand people. Many people were standing around outside. Similar category 4 hurricanes in Florida can cause will be cause for the US government to evacuate hundreds of thousands of people. So why so few evacuations in Japan? Less floods because of the mountainous Japanese terrain? Better buildings? Or should the Japanese government have evacuated more people and we are just got lucky that it wasn't a category 4 in the end? I drove to dinner after the two notch downgraded typhoon and saw trees blown across the streets, and minor but visible damage. If it had been a category 4 storm, I can image many of the buildings that I saw around having been blown away. I just wonder how prepared the Japanese were and if we were just REALLY luck that the storm shrank just as it approached the islands...

3 Comments

of course the typhoon was just scared of GOJIRA! ^_^

The evacuation difference is primarily flooding. A 5m storm surge in Japan affects a few thousand people directly on the coastline. That same 5m surge in Florida affects hundreds of thousands (or more) and goes far inland, and in Lousisiana it would flood out millions by inundating the entire city of New Orleans. Thats the difference between a mountainous country like Japan and a low-lying flat coastal plain.

The highest point in all of Florida (near the center) is only 110m above sea level. Tokyo City Hall (at 243m) is twice as far above sea level as all of Florida.

Evacuate to where? Ever try driving out of Tokyo on a 3 day weekend? Everyone would spend the Typhoon in their cars instead of their homes. If you think an 11 hour traffic jam home to get to a ski mountain is bad, try a 24 hour typhoon trafic jam!!

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