So, for shock value, I might be evacuated from my apartment in the next 12 hours!!!
It's been raining in Miyazu for about 5 days straight with occasional spurts of beautiful blue sky and hot blazing sun. I experienced the most powerful thunder/lightning storm ever this morning between 5-6am. The ground is soaked and unstable, and since 6.30am, there have been hourly warnings about the rising water and fears of mudslides, especially in the area where I live. It sounds like I'm in a Communist-era village with these loudspeakers blaring announcements and sirens- at first I thought that they were air raid sirens!!
A few years ago, the most damagiing typhoon ever to hit the area destroyed homes, blew down the sacred ancient trees at Amanohashidate, caused major mudslides, and many people died. My apartment is at the base of the mountains where these mudslides occured. Thank goodness I have some Japanese friends in the area who know that I don't understand the announcements and have been calling me to update me. If we get evacuated, most likely we'll have to go to the gym at Miyazu High School or to the city gym. It obviously doesn't have the urgency of something like Hurricane Katrina, but it seems that the people here are kind of blowing it out of proportion- or just REALLY being prepared- JUST IN CASE.
I've packed an overnight bag- just in case.