There is currently a typhoon/tropical storm wreaking havoc throughout the Kanto region, and I’m stuck right in the middle of it. Seriously. Ibaraki Prefecture (where I’m located) and Tochigi Prefecture (which begins in the next town over from me) are the two worst-hit areas. Up to 500mm (or 20 inches) of rain has fallen in some cities, and thousands of people have been advised or ordered to evacuate due to flash floods and landslides.
There’s no need to worry about me, though! While certain parts of Yuki have had evacuation orders issued, and while one of my schools is apparently UNDERWATER right now (it’s right near the river), I’m perfectly safe. My apartment is located on higher ground and I’m nowhere near the river… the worst I’m faced with at the moment is that the puddles on my street are huge, so I’m pretty lucky.
In fact, I was pretty oblivious to the fact that there even was a typhoon until yesterday evening.
Tuesday was actually the beginning of the storm in Yuki, although it really just rained all day. Tuesday also happened to be my first day working at my furthest visit school. So thanks to the typhoon, that meant that I arrived absolutely drenched after my 25-minute commute via bicycle. Great for first impressions, I can assure you. Luckily, though, I had the foresight to bring a change of clothes, so after my hair dried I was back to normal.
Yesterday, the rain worsened considerably and the lightning began (although I still just thought we were having rainy weather, so I walked to school). My fellow teachers were horrified to hear that I had walked, and after informing me that this was actually a typhoon, they insisted on driving me home at the end of the day.
I was planning on going to school today anyway, but one of my teachers called at 6:45 this morning and informed me that school was cancelled due to the typhoon. My reaction: a celebratory cry of “TYPHOON DAY!” and then I fell back asleep without another thought.
However, it’s a little more serious than a snow day. You know it’s serious when the 24/7 convenience store is closed! All jokes aside, though, the trains have been completely shut down and the first floor of my Tuesday school is actually underwater according to one of my teachers. I’ve spent the morning watching the news; they keep showing footage of dangerously overflowing rivers and people struggling to wade through knee-high water in what was once a city street. I can’t understand exactly what the reporters are saying, but “Ibaraki-ken” and “Tochigi-ken” are being said every ten seconds, so these videos are clearly close to home.
I’ve never really experienced a storm this bad, so I’m glad my teachers are keeping me informed. Two of my base school teachers actually drove to my apartment to check up on me this morning! I can’t emphasize enough how kind everyone here has been to me.
For now, though, I’m logging out to enjoy my very first typhoon day. Instant noodles, yoga, tea, and a movie are on the schedule. Stay safe and dry, everyone!