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Let's discuss natural disasters

This week’s featured article

JIJI

People were rushing to supermarkets and hardware stores to stock up on supplies as Typhoon Hagibis approached the Pacific coast, menacing the Kanto and Tokai regions on Honshu.

Some lodging facilities in tourist sites, which had anticipated strong demand for the three-day weekend through Monday, were forced to close.

“Sales of pot noodles were three to four times those on any other day,” said an official of supermarket chain Life Corp., which runs about 120 outlets in the greater Tokyo area. Customers also bought perishables, including meat and fish, for the long weekend, the official said.

An outlet of drug store chain Sugi Holdings Co. in Nagoya had stocked up on more instant noodles, batteries and other items than usual at the direction of its headquarters.

Bottled water quickly disappeared from the store’s shelves after massive water supply disruptions happened in Chiba Prefecture last month due to damage from Typhoon Faxai.

“We came here to buy water to prepare for an outage,” a corporate employee in her 40s visiting the store with her husband said. “We’re also getting some batteries as our children will be scared if a blackout occurs.”

Hotels and other lodging facilities in Atami, a popular hot spring resort in Shizuoka Prefecture, were meanwhile hit by cancellations for the long holiday.

Hotel New Akao decided to close on Saturday, and its employees were busy reinforcing windows with curing tape and sheets of plywood. Giant windowpanes in the hotel’s dining hall were smashed by high waves during a typhoon in July last year.

At a winery in Koshu, Yamanashi Prefecture, grapes for red wine were harvested two days earlier than planned because they were in danger of being blown away by strong winds, according to the winery.

First published in The Japan Times on Oct. 11.

Warm up

One-minute chat about typhoons

Game

Collect words related to disasters: e.g: alarm, evacuation, blackout, damages

New words

1) menace: to be a threat or possible danger to, e.g. “Those stray dogs are a menace to the neighborhood.”

2) perishable: food that can decay, e.g. “The lettuce is on sale because it’s perishable and the store needs to get rid of it.”

3) outage: a temporary suspension of power, e.g. “The risk of a power outage in summer is high because everyone uses air conditioning.”

Guess the headline

Alarmed residents s_ _ _ _ up on food as Typhoon Hagibis a_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ Japan

Questions

1) Why did people buy lots of stuff on Friday?

2) What items were in demand?

3) Why did the employee get batteries?

Let’s discuss the article

1) Did you prepare for the typhoon?

2) How was the situation in your area?

Reference

台風の多い日本でも歴史的と言われるほどの大きな台風が本州を直撃しました。発生当初から数十年ぶりの規模での災害となる可能性が指摘されていたことや、それまでの台風の記憶や爪痕がまだ残る地域も多かったため、今回は多くの方がなにかしらの準備をしていたようです。とはいえ、毎回想定外という言葉をニュースで耳にするほど準備をしても防げない被害があるのも事実です。

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