おつかれさまです— 🦑塩辛🦑 (@siokaraikano) August 27, 2018
PENTAX K-1 + Irix 15mm pic.twitter.com/fUXoaMs9eS
So when a large storm front rolled in towards the nation’s capital on August 27, 2018, people couldn’t be entirely sure of what to expect, but many had their cameras at the ready to record the evening’s events. It turned out to be one of the biggest electrical storms to hit Tokyo in years, and residents recorded some eyebrow-raising scenes around the city.
The lightning bolts were so close for some that even the view from indoors was frightening.
Well, that was quite a show! Haven't seen lightning like that in Tokyo for years. When I was little my mum would tell me to hide my belly button during a storm so the god of thunder wouldn't take it away. Hope you all hid your belly buttons!#雨 #雷すごい #大雨 #雷雨 #雷 #嵐 pic.twitter.com/WMXRuflOjf— Oona McGee 🇯🇵🇮🇪🇦🇺 (@OonaMcGee) August 27, 2018
Children in Japan are taught to cover their belly buttons during a storm so the god of thunder doesn’t snatch it away.
昨夜東京を襲った雷雨の写真です。— KAGAYA (@KAGAYA_11949) August 27, 2018
This photographer was game enough to snap some incredible photos from a high vantage point, but he was careful to point out that when the vertical Cumulonimbus clouds, referred to as “thunderheads” during a storm, start to get closer, it’s time to pack away the camera and head indoors.
稲妻の微細構造。（本日撮影）— KAGAYA (@KAGAYA_11949) August 27, 2018
With this much energy in a single lightning bolt, storms might be beautiful to capture on film, but they’re also incredibly dangerous.
According to Franklin Japan, who specialize in providing accurate and up-to-date lightning information, 1,246 lightning bolts were recorded within a 50-kilometer (31.1-mile) radius of Tokyo Station in the space of ten minutes at 8:09 p.m.
弟から送られてきたシンデレラ城が、雷のせいで悪魔城みたいになっている pic.twitter.com/ln8tdNNqpB— 微小時間(①) (@kurokotachan) August 27, 2018
Visitors at Tokyo Disneyland, in neighboring Chiba Prefecture, witnessed some frightening bolts of lightning close to Cinderella’s Castle.
荻窪なんだけど雨と雷と風やばない？ pic.twitter.com/nE5Fqg9lKO— 刹那❖Atomos (@jam_enchan) August 27, 2018
And along with the incessant lightning came torrential downpours, which created pools of water at some of Tokyo’s busiest areas between the hours of roughly 8-9 p.m.
The stairs at Mizonokuchi Station looked more like a water feature.
目黒川こんなんなってるらしい pic.twitter.com/vdmT7o48pa— yuk (@yyyukkk) August 27, 2018
Meguro River turned into a rushing torrent of water as the sudden squalls, known as “guerilla rains,” in Japan, caused the water to rise four meters over the space of 30 minutes.
The river overflowed in some areas.
This pictogram shows just how quickly Meguro River filled with water, peaking at 430 centimeters at 8:40 p.m.
目黒川が危険水位を超えたとサイレン鳴りまくり‼️ pic.twitter.com/3CNdvwlgW1— 株LION (@winner_51) August 27, 2018
The city sent out alerts online and sounded warning sirens in the vicinity to warn people to be vigilant as there was a possibility that the river could cause flooding.
Thankfully, the worst of the storm had passed by this stage, and the water level here and at other waterways around Tokyo gradually decreased. As a result of the freak storm, there were some slight transport delays and approximately 7,700 residences in the Tokyo Metropolitan Area lost power temporarily. Thankfully, however, there were no recorded casualties.
According to the meteorological bureau, more rain is expected for the Kanto region in the coming days, so be sure to take care if you’re in the area.
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