JAPAN: Rain kills 2, prompts evacuation advisory for 80,000


Floods and landslides following torrential rain in western Japan have killed at least two people and prompted one city to advise more than 80,000 people to flee their homes, AFP quoted officials as having said on Sunday.

Kyoto prefectural officials said that one man was confirmed dead in Kyoto city early Sunday after he was swept away by a flooded river while trying to build a sandbag barrier.

National broadcaster NHK said that in nearby Ishikawa prefecture, the body of a 74-year-old woman was pulled from her house after a landslide.

Western and central Japan were Sunday still being battered by heavy rain that started Friday.

Fukuchiyama City in Kyoto prefecture experienced rainfall of 303 millimetres (12 inches) during the 24 hours to early Sunday, a record for the city, according to the Japan Meteorological Agency.

The municipality issued an evacuation advisory — a recommendation that is different from an order to evacuate — to all 80,860 residents, as major parts of the city were submerged by waist-high water.

Heavy rain was expected to continue through Monday in western to central Japan.

A landslide at Tamba city in Hyogo prefecture near Kyoto destroyed a house where a 73-year-old female resident was rescued Sunday.

NHK said that search was continuing for her 79-year-old husband.

The Yomiuri Shimbun said that Police in the central prefecture of Gifu found two of three climbers who had been swept away by a flooded river in the Hida Mountains.

Their condition was not immediately known.

Only recently, over one million people had  been told to evacuate their homes as a powerful typhoon hit south-west  Japan.

Then the Japan Meteorological Agency had said that Typhoon Halong made landfall near Aki, Kochi prefecture, at around 06:00  (21:00 GMT Saturday, August 9).

The agency had warned that torrential rain in Mie prefecture, west of Tokyo, was already “unprecedented”  and could trigger landslides or major floods.

Broadcaster NHK had said that one person had been killed and more than 30 injured.

Winds of up to 180 kilometres per hour (110 miles per hour) were then reportedly moving slowly north-east.

Television footage had showed high waves hitting breakwaters and muddy torrents roaring  down a swollen river.

NHK had reported that one man was washed away in a raging river in Gifu prefecture and died later  in hospital, while a surfer was missing off the coast of Wakayama  prefecture.

NHK had added local authorities, mainly in western Japan, issued evacuation advisories to  nearly 1.5 million people in total.

Airlines had grounded about 470 flights on the fateful Saturday and at least 143 more flights had been due to be cancelled the following day.

Some bullet trains had also suspended services.

The disruption had affected thousands of travellers aiming to get away for  Japan’s annual Obon summer holiday.

About 40 centimetres (16 inches) of rain and heavy winds had been forecast for eastern  Japan, including the Tokyo metropolitan area.

Halong came a month after Typhoon Neoguri killed several people and left a  trail of destruction in southern Japan.

The previous weekend, a man drowned in a swollen river as heavy rain from Typhoon  Nakri lashed the country.

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