Tokyo Electric Power Corporation (TEPCO), operator of Japan's crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant, has again released highly radioactive water into the ocean, as Typhoon Wipha dropped heavy rainwater onto the plant.
ABC News, citing an unidentified TEPCO spokesperson, said the company had released toxic rainwater into the Pacific Ocean. It was not mentioned how much volume of rainwater was dumped. "The rainwater was checked for radioactivity," ABC News reported.
Japan Typhoon Wipha: Dumps Rainwater Anew on Crippled Fukushima Nuclear Plant, 17 Dead, 50 Missing (Youtube/ WestPacWx)
Typhoon Wipha, described by weather forecasters as "the strongest in 10 years," has killed at least 17 people in Japan. Around 50 are still missing.
With winds of about 110 mph, Wipha hit Tokyo on Wednesday, cancelling about 500 flights and displacing at least 20,000 people.
October has been a "remarkably active for typhoon activity in the West Pacific," Neena Saith, senior meteorologist at catastrophic risk modeler RMS, was quoted by online portal PropertyCasualty360. At least six tropical storms and four typhoons occurred in October 2013 alone, including Typhoon Fitow which recently hit China, and Typhoon Nari which struck the Philippines as well as Vietnam.
With still two months left, the year 2013 had recorded 25 named storms so far, Ms Saith added.
Typhoon Wipha missed Japan's capital of Tokyo by less than 100 miles, striking instead Izu Oshima island. It dumped a total of 850mm rainwater in 24 hours on the island.
Majority, or 16 of the 17 reported dead due to Typhoon Wipha occurred on the island. The fatalities were people caught by mudslides along a mile-long stretch of mountains.
"People on this island are somewhat used to heavy rainstorms, but this typhoon was beyond our imagination," Yutaka Sagara, an island resident, told the AP.
"I heard a crackling sound and then the trees on the hillside all fell over," a woman on Izu Oshima told NHK television.
Typhoon Wipha had been downgraded to a tropical depression by 5:00pm AEST. It was last found by the Japan Meteorological Agency off the coast of north-eastern Japan and moving northeast at 95 kph.