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Wild Weather Hits Japan And The US
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Wild Weather Hits Japan And the US

Typhoon Talas has dropped a record amount of rain in both the Western and Central parts of Japan just a few hundred miles from the already devastated areas of that nation. In addition to torrential downpours and flooding in vast areas, mudslides have become a major concern as more rain is expected from the slow moving storm system. At least twenty people have died, many of them in mudslides that have destroyed their homes and at least fifty additional people are missing according to loved ones. Over 460,000 people have been given evacuation orders in preparation for continued bad conditions.

Officials are reporting that at least 3600 people are stranded by rising flood waters with more rain expected. This typhoon has been the worst storm in Japan since 2004 when nearly 100 people died or were wounded by floods and mudslides. Talas has caused damage to the centuries old Nijojo Castle, a popular tourist destination in the city of Kyoto.

Talas is typhoon number twelve this season with is center crossing over the southern island of Shikoku and the central part of Honshu. Forecasters are warning that the storm front is continuing to move slowly across the area bringing the threat of continued rainfall and more potential mudslides due largely in part to the already soaked ground.

In the United States, New Orleans is still being hit by Tropical Storm Lee which has dumped over a foot of rain in much of the city, increasing the risk of flooding in many parts of the area. There have been no deaths directly related to the storm front but a man in Mississippi received what are being described as non-life threatening injuries when lightning passed through his telephone line.  The US is also watching Hurricane Katia which had been downgraded to a tropical storm at one point but regained strength and has been redesignated as a hurricane once again. Right now it is too far out to sea to determine its exact path or what kind of damage it could potentially bring with it. The National Hurricane Center has warned that there is no reason to be concerned with Katia just yet, there are too many factors that can change before the storm nears land. The hurricane is expected to pass north of the Caribbean Islands but what that means for the US coastline remains a question.

Despite all of the storms in the area, Texas remains starved for water, praying for just some of the rainfall to come to the state. Grasses and now trees are dying from the continued dry weather as well as record setting high temperatures that have left the state sweltering and at risk for wildfires. Already, a wildfire near Austin has burned hundreds of homes with hundreds more at risk. Thousands have been forced to evacuate, leaving some 700 homes vulnerable to potential destruction. Winds from Tropical Storm Lee have made fighting that blaze difficult at best, with 14,000 acres already scorched.


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