Strongest in decade typhoon heads for Fukushima nuclear plant
Typhoon Wipha, packing winds of nearly 200 km per hour near its center and bringing heavy rains, was in the Pacific south of Japan Tuesday evening, the Japan Meteorological Agency said.
According to the agency, the storm was moving north at 35 km per hour.
It was forecasted to reach an area off the Tokyo metropolitan area by early Wednesday, and later in the day would be off the coast of Fukushima.
Hiroyuki Uchida, the agency's chief forecaster said that "it is the strongest typhoon in 10 years to pass the Kanto region (Tokyo and its vicinity)."
"It is expected to have a great impact on the traffic systems in the metropolitan area during commuting hours," he added.
Japanese carmaker Nissan called on its employees across Kanto to stay at home on Wednesday morning to ride out the storm.
As the weather agency issued warnings of torrential rain and strong winds, the operator of the Fukushima plant, Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO), said it is “making preparations for proper management of contaminated water.”
“We will patrol places that could have inflows of water (from the storm)," a company spokesman said.
Earlier this month the TEPCO announced 430 liters of polluted water had spilt from a tank as workers tried to remove rainwater dumped at the plant by recent typhoons.
Fukushima plant was damaged by the tsunami that hit in March 2011 and according to experts is still in a fragile state.
Voice of Russia, AFP