Typhoon Man-Yi hits Japan fuelling radiation leak fears

Typhoon Man-yi hit central Japan on Monday as officials issued a "special warning" of heavy rain, amid fears the storm could go on to hit the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant.

Updated: Sep 16, 2013, 18:02 PM IST

Zee Media Bureau

Tokyo: Armed with torrential downpours and gusty winds, typhoon Man-Yi has struck Japan bringing in floods and forcing hundreds of thousands of residents to evacuate their households on Monday.

Adding to the fears of the radiation leak that has already been reported from the Fukushima plant, the typhoon is reportedly moving with the speed of 55kmh towards northeast and may head to Tokyo today.

According to the Japan Meteorological Agency, the typhoon made landfall in Toyohashi, Aichi prefecture early morning today with the stormy winds of 100 miles per hour.

Over 400000 people were instructed to leave their homes in four prefectures of Kyoto, Shiga, Hyogo and Mie prefectures, said Kyodo news agency.

So far, four people were unaccounted for and dozens were reportedly said to be injured as the floods hit over 800 houses.

The typhoon also affected flights and rail transport with 500 domestic flights being cancelled on Monday.

The typhoon is set to add to the fears of radiation leak as it is expected to hit the northeast, including the Fukushima area, on today afternoon possibly bringing heavy rain to areas near the crippled nuclear power plant.

Recent disclosures that the Fukushima plant is still leaking radiation and struggling to handle contaminated water used to cool its reactors have heightened the leak fears.

Workers were pumping out water from areas near tanks storing radioactive water, from which leaks are believed to have seeped into groundwater.

Around 300 tonnes of mildly contaminated groundwater is entering the ocean every day having passed under the reactors, according to TEPCO.

Japan is once again without atomic energy as its only operating nuclear reactor went offline Sunday for refueling and maintenance, and other plants remain closed for intensified safety checks following the 2011 meltdowns at the tsunami-stricken plant in Fukushima.

With Agency Inputs