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    Posted September 21, 2011 by
    Tokyo, Japan
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Severe weather

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    Typhoon Roke, Japan


    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     Pozzy, a professional photographer, captured the sights of Typhoon Roke passing through Asakusa, Tokyo, this evening during a lull in the storm. 'I have not lost anything from this typhoon, however in the surrounding area, many trees had been knocked over, bicycles knocked down and damaged along with a few close-calls with 'flying' umbrellas with very sharp points, which some people will leave on the side of the street to be collected the next day by garbage-collectors when broken,' he said.
    - zdan, CNN iReport producer

    To  many people, Typhoon Roke was going to be just another storm that blows  through with minimal damage, especially those who live in and around  the Tokyo area (Kanagawa, Saitama, Chiba, Tokyo Prefecture).  However,  hours into the storm, things are looking much more sinister for  everyone.  At 5pm every day, loud-speakers announce the time, which acts  as a reminder to parents to check on their children, but also is a way  of testing to make sure the emergency alert system is up and  operational... today those loud-speakers sounded at 2:20pm warning of  the incoming typhoon which was to make land-fall only an hour from then.

    Leaving my umbrella upstairs and opting for a heavy rain-coat, I  noticed something off while stepping outside for the first time today...  even with the torrential rain, often blowing horizontally, nobody on  the streets were using umbrellas... nobody.  It simply is too windy for  even the sturdiest of parasols.  This should have been obvious to me as  the 10th floor of my 12-floor apartment complex was heaving side to side  with the wind which, at times, sounded like a jet engine was parked  right outside of my windows.  It's one thing to give up your umbrella  due to worrying about it becoming inverted from the wind, but it's  something else all together when people are walking single-file along  the edges of buildings to ensure that any other broken umbrellas,  earlier abandoned by their owners on the sides of the sidewalk due to  damage, don't blow in and stab them.  I myself had one close call with a  cheap 300-yen ($5) umbrella, as it skipped past me and slammed into the  side of a vending machine.

    If wind wasn't enough, residents in Nagoya and Kanagawa also have to  worry about flood-water and power outages.  As of now at 6:20pm on  Wednesday evening, 1 million residents of Nagoya were asked to evacuate  the area due to flooding.  The same problem is happening in Kanagawa  (Yokohama) area as well, and due to damage at power-stations, there are  76,000 homes and offices in the area without power (according to T.B.S.  Japan).  It almost seems like earth-quake level damage will be expected  with many shops, restaurants and grocery stores already selling out of  essential items such as bread, meats and canned goods.

    Typhoon Roke is expected to run it's course by 9pm of the 22nd,  however until that time, we will simply need to endure the rain, wind  and the lack of transportation services that are usually available  throughout Tokyo.  Currently twenty-eight of the lines running in and  through Tokyo area are shut down, effectively leaving millions of people  stranded at work and away from home.

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