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#9- Typhoon Jelawat


Staff writers
December 22, 2012 — The Weather Network counts down the 10 biggest weather stories of 2012. #9- Typhoon Jelawat.


Typhoon Jelawat was one of the most powerful storms to strike East Asia in 2012
Typhoon Jelawat was one of the most powerful storms to strike East Asia in 2012

Be sure to tune into The Weather Network on TV at 8 pm ET tonight to find out what landed in the #8 spot. 

Typhoon Jelawat was one of the most powerful storms to strike East Asia in 2012.

Luckily it weakened before hitting Okinawa in southern Japanese on September 29th.

Six days earlier, the typhoon had intensified explosively.

The Japan Meteorological Agency had upgraded the storm from a category 1 to a category 4 typhoon in just 12 hours. It then strengthened further, becoming a category 5 super typhoon by September 25th.

All the while, Jelawat had Okinawa in its cross hairs and as it neared, people scrambled to prepare for impact. 

By the time the storm hit the area it had weakened significantly to a category 2 storm. Still, Jelawat cut power to hundreds-of thousands of homes, not only on Okinawa, but elsewhere in the country. 

Winds topping 230 km/h tossed cars and dumpsters. More than 4,000 homes were evacuated in Okinawa and Kagoshima ahead of the storm. 

Jelawat also dropped huge amounts of rain, on the order of 80 mm per-hour in Iwate Prefecture, on Honshu, the country's largest island.

Despite all the mudslides, flooding and powerful winds, there were relatively few casualties. A 56-year-old man died trying to save his wife whose vehicle was washed away by flash flooding, and a 29 year-old fisherman died when he was swept out to sea. 

Jelawat was the third consecutive cyclone to become a super-typhoon. It was preceded by Sanba in September and Bolaven in August. Both swept by Okinawa as well.

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