As you no doubt heard, recently Typhoon Roke caused a bit of a mess in central Japan, with extensive flooding and damage due to strong winds and heavy rain. There are a lot of terms that are useful to know when typhoons are approaching, so today I’d like to introduce a few of them, including a mention of the Japan Meteorological Agency website and how you can track typhoons.
Two terms that you’ll likely hear a lot on the news are 避難勧告 and 避難指示. Confusing these two terms can lead to mistaken reports, so take care to listen carefully for them. Here are the three stages of evacuation notices:
With the translations, it should be pretty clear of the differences. An evacuation preparation announcement is a warning for people to prepare in the event at they need to evacuate immediately. An evacuation advisory is exactly that – people in the affected zones are only recommended to evacuate. In contrast, an evacuation order has more weight behind it – people are being told to leave their homes, although this notice does not actually force people to do so.
The implications of these notices should be a bit clearer now – when the news reports that X number of households have been advised to evacuate, it doesn’t quite have the same urgency as an *order* to evacuate. That said, the notice still should not be taken lightly and people in areas especially prone to flooding, landslides or close to structures liable to collapse should be especially vigilant!
In the case of Nagoya in the recent typhoon, over 1,000,000 people were issued with an evacuation advisory, and 80,000 issued with an evacuation order. None were forced evacuations by the city or prefecture, although you might say that the typhoon forced people to leave their homes.
Next then, let’s take a look at tracking a typhoon on the JMA website.
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