Storm-hit areas in Japan battered by heavy rains, one dead, evacuations ordered

Storm-hit areas in Japan battered by heavy rains, one dead, evacuations ordered

An aerial view shows a Japan Self-Defence Force helicopter flying over residential areas flooded by
An aerial view shows a Japan Self-Defence Force helicopter flying over residential areas flooded by the Chikuma river following Typhoon Hagibis in Nagano, central Japan, Oct 13, 2019. (Photo: Reuters/Kyodo)

TOKYO: Torrential rains on Friday (Oct 25) battered areas of eastern Japan that were hit by floods and high winds from Typhoon Hagibis two weeks ago, killing at least one person, causing rivers to overflow and prompting evacuation orders for hundreds of thousands.

One person was killed in a landslide in Chiba prefecture, just east of Tokyo, with two other people missing, according to public broadcaster NHK.

Authorities warned of the chance of further landslides and floods, especially in areas hit by levee breaks that have yet to be repaired after Hagibis lashed central and eastern Japan with heavy rains and high winds this month.

That typhoon killed at least 82 people, nearly a dozen are still missing and more than 300 were injured.

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A man walks with his son near flooded houses, in the aftermath of Typhoon Hagibis, in Yanagawamachi
A man walks with his son near flooded houses, in the aftermath of Typhoon Hagibis, in Yanagawamachi district, Date City, Fukushima prefecture, Japan, Oct 16, 2019. (Photo: Reuters/Soe Zeya Tun)

"It has been two weeks since the disaster caused by Typhoon 19 (Hagibis) and the rain has continued to fall intermittently so people to need to take the necessary caution," Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said in a tweet.

Evacuation orders were issued for at least 80,000 people in Chiba, where rivers were rising precariously close to their banks. Most trains services in Chiba were halted, leaving travellers stranded at stations, according to NHK.

Parts of Chiba were drenched by 86mm (3.4 inches) of rain in an hour on Friday morning, with some areas receiving more than a month of rain in one day. It was the third natural disaster to hit the area in the past six weeks. Much of Chiba lost power, in some cases for weeks, in Typhoon Faxai in September and then were hit by heavy rains due to Hagibis.

The government also asked 340,205 people to evacuate their homes in Fukushima prefecture because of a threat posed by possible landslides.

The rain pounded the Tokyo area for much of the day before moving north. Total rainfall in the area around Tokyo was likely to reach around 200 to 300 mm (8-12 inches) by evening, the Japan Meteorological Agency said. Some flights to Tokyo were diverted because of the downpour, NHK said.

Tropical storm Bualoi, which battered the Ogasawara islands south of the main Japanese archipelago on Thursday while still at typhoon strength, was heading out into the Pacific and expected to weaken to a tropical depression later on Friday. 

Source: Reuters/zl/ec

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