Japan can't catch a break. It's not right. After dealing with a 9.0 earthquake earlier this year, they just got swarmed by Typhoon Talas, a tropical storm that was just as bad as Hurricane Irene. These are the pictures of the aftermath.
A typhoon is like a hurricane but happens in the Northwest Pacific Ocean. Similarly, a hurricane is like a typhoon that happens in the Northeast Pacific Ocean and Northwest Atlantic Ocean. Semantics, whatever. They're all tropical cyclones, they're all scary and they all destroy everything in their path. If you consider the wind speeds that Typhoon Talas hit — around 120km/h — it could be considered a Category 1 hurricane but since typhoons use a different measurement scale, it's not an exact translation to "our" hurricane terms.
The nut of it though: 47 people killed, 56 people missing, 450,000 people evacuated, 26 inches of rain in one night, and a country who has had too much damage done to them by Mother Nature in a six-month span. It's the worst storm for Japan since Typhoon Tokage, which killed 98 people.
The entire East Coast was freaking out over Hurricane Irene (and some of that freaking out was warranted) but most of us managed to escape it without any damage. Looking at the pictures though, Typhoon Talas did just as much damage (if not more) than Irene yet so few seemed to notice. It seems besides the point to prop up natural disasters and compare them to one another but it seems like the aftermath of Talas deserves a little bit more attention. Life is life. [NY Times]
The Typhoon caused most of its damage on the Kii Peninsula, in central Japan. Image: Kyodo News/AP Photo
Image: Kyodo News/AP Photo
Image: Getty Images