American Citizen Services
Updated Message for U.S. Citizens - Typhoon GUCHOL (12-04W)
This emergency message is an update to the message sent about Typhoon 12-04W (Guchol) that was issued on Monday, June 18. This emergency message is being issued to alert U.S. citizens residing or traveling in Kansai region of Japan that the Japan Meteorological Agency has issued alerts for a Category 4 equivalent storm, Typhoon Guchol. As of 10 a.m. (local time) on Tuesday, June 19, it was located off the shore of Shikoku island at 29.90 degrees north latitude, 131.8 degrees east longitude, traveling to North Northeast 50 km/h (31 mph) in the direction of Honshu. It is expected to approach closest to Osaka on the evening of June 19. The U.S. Consulate General in Osaka-Kobe will close to the public at 3 p.m. local time.
The Japan Meteorological Agency reports that the maximum sustained wind speed near the center of the storm is currently 35m/s (78 mph) with gusts of 50 m/s (112 mph). Typhoon Guchol’s winds are expected to maintain strength over the next 72 hours. Sustained maximum winds when the storm makes landfall on Osaka at around 8 p.m. (local time) and are predicted to be as high as 15 m/s (34 mph), gusting to 45m/s (101 mph).
Throughout the day of June 19, the storm is forecast to pass near Shikoku, and pass through the Kansai and Kanto regions, gradually weakening to tropical storm strength, and bringing heavy rains as it passes over the Tohoku region and eastern Hokkaido. Due to the possibility of strong winds, heavy rain, flooding, and landslides, some municipalities have announced preparations for evacuation. Several Japanese rail and airlines have also announced limited or cancelled service in areas affected by the storm. U.S. citizens in Japan in the affected regions should continue to monitor local news outlets and consult with local authorities for updates as the storm approaches.
For further details, check the website of the Japan Meteorological Agency and the U.S. Navy Joint Typhoon Warning Center's Tropical Cyclone Warning.
We will continue to monitor Typhoon Guchol's track and will issue updated messages as appropriate. Please monitor the typhoon's track by listening to the radio, watching television, or monitoring AFN radio at 89.1 FM. Locate shelter, monitor media reports, and follow all official instructions. Carry your travel documents at all times (i.e. U.S. Passport, Birth Certificate, picture ID's, etc.) or secure them in a safe, waterproof location. You should also contact friends and family in the United States with updates about your whereabouts.
Additional information on hurricanes and storm preparedness may be found on our "Hurricane/Typhoon Season" webpage, and on the "Natural Disasters" page of the Bureau of Consular Affairs website. Updated information on travel in Japan may be obtained from the Department of State by calling 1-888- 407-4747 within the United States and Canada, or from overseas, 1-202-501-4444. These numbers are available from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).
The U.S. Embassy encourages U.S. citizens to review "A Safe Trip Abroad,", which includes valuable security information for those both living and traveling abroad. The Department of State also has information about the 2012 Hurricane and Tropical Cyclone Season online here. All U.S. citizens in Japan are urged to enroll online at the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). Enrolling gives U.S. Citizens access to updated information on travel and security and makes it easier for the Embassy to contact citizens in case of emergency. You can also download our free Smart Traveler iPhone App to have travel information at your fingertips.
Please continue to monitor the Embassy's website for updated information. Please consult the Country Specific Information Sheet for Japan, available on the Bureau of Consular Affairs website.
For any emergencies involving U.S. citizens, please contact the American Citizens Services (ACS) Unit of either the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo or one of the U.S. Consulates in Japan.