Tag Archives: Typhoon 21

What is Important For Thee is Not For Me

A couple of weeks ago the Tokyo area got hit by Typhoon 21. (It had a name, but Japan doesn’t care.) As a result of the storm, a few people died and our local government has been heavily criticized.

They responded by giving people what they wanted, albeit  a bit too late.

Although we live near a flood control reservoir, it is clear that just down the hill form us is a bad place to be in a flood. Although we’ve talked about buying a house, I’ve insisted that it be up hill and not down near the “bank” or flood control reservoir.

Part of the flood. If you look at the back center, you can see the flood control reservoir bank.

After Typhoon 21, the areas near the schools (which are, ironically, evacuation centers) were under a couple feet of water. Near our youngest’s elementary school, people were being rescued by boats.

Just outside the parking lot of our apartment complex.

Just a hundred meters or so from our apartment.

Almost immediately, the local government came under fire for not issuing an evacuation order. Although the closest evacuation centers were under water, there are several others on higher ground.

The local government’s defense was “We were busy counting votes. You know, democracy and crap like that.” (Something like that.)

The storm, rather rudely, chose to strike during the official voting day of a national election. Even She Who Must Be Obeyed braved the weather to vote.

Because of this, the local government felt that counting votes was more important to the electorate than actually saving their lives and were too busy to issue an evacuation order.

Since then, there has been a lot of bowing and apologizing and at least two meetings with the public to explain “but votes!”.

Then, last Sunday, Typhoon 22 hit the Tokyo area. Almost before the rain had started, the local big voice speakers started wailing and our smartphones started beeping that we should get the hell out if we didn’t want to f@#king die. “Here’s your f@#king evacuation warning right here, just like you wanted it, good and hard.”

In the end we didn’t get any flooding–in fact the storm bypassed us–but no one could complain we didn’t get any warning we were about to die. Even if the warning scared people to death.