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Inventor creates ‘submarine’ to block typhoons
London, Sept 21 (Agencies):
Published on 21 Sep. 2010 10:34 PM IST
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As residents of Taiwan and central China clear up after the devastation of Typhoon Fanapi, a Japanese company may have come up with a way of taking the sting out future Pacific storms.
Many areas of North Korea have been struck by torrential rains and windstorms due to ‘Typhoon No. 7’.
Ise Kogyo Co., a hydraulic engineering company based in Mie, central Japan, has obtained a patent for a submarine designed to dive in the path of a typhoon, pump cold water to the surface, and stop the storm in its tracks. The submarine drops 30 metres below the surface and then pumps cold water to the top.
Typhoon need surface temperatures 25 or 26 degrees centigrade to form and increase in destructive power, but by cooling the surface water, the company believes the typhoon will peter out.
“The idea is to have a series of 20-metre long water pumps, each with a diameter of 70cm, attached to both sides of a submarine to pump cold water to the surface,” Tomotsu Omori told The Daily Telegraph.
Devised by company President Koichi Kitamura, each submarine would be able to pump around 480 metric tons of water per minute and would work in coordinated groups of up to 20 underwater vehicles. In one hour, Kitamura estimates, the submarines would be able to reduce the surface temperature of the ocean by 3 degrees over an area of 57,000 square metres and take the punch out of the storm.
The company is now looking for partners to develop a prototype system to test.
Autumn is traditionally typhoon season on the eastern seaboard of Asia and dozens of people die each year when storms sweep ashore. Typhoon Fanapi claimed two lives in Taiwan over the weekend and caused damage estimated at tens of millions of pounds. In some places, more than 1 metre of rain fell in the space of 24 hours.
One of the most destructive storms of recent years was Typhoon Thelma, which struck the Philippines in 1991 and caused at least 6,000 deaths.

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