Cloudburst

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Since noon, Tokyo's received 108mm of rainfall, 73% of August's average, and experienced a series of intense thunderstorms. It feels as though the city is going to be washed away.

As the first storm began this morning, I decided to pull up a chair on the verandah and watch it. The lightning bolts behind my building reflected off the glass covered Toppan highrise across the way. Thunder echoed and rumbled and drew louder and nearer. Low yellow-grey clouds trailed scarves of rain in the middle distance. It was beautiful and awesome. Then I watched a bolt hit a lightning rod on a building nearby and scurried inside as the clouds opened up over me.

Not everyone was able to find shelter. Five sewer workers were washed down a manhole earlier today. One has turned up in the Kanda River about 3 km from where he started. I heard the rescue sirens and helicopters a few blocks from here. He didn't live. The other four are still missing.

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