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Heavy Rains Flood Central Japan

Posted by feww on August 30, 2008

Heavy rains wreak havoc in central Japan

About 1.5 million people from 500,000 households in Aichi prefecture, central Japan, were ordered to evacuate as heavy rains flooded central Japan Friday, Kyodo News agency reported.

The evacuation orders were later lifted as rain abated; however, the officials warned about more rains in the area.

Cars travel down a flooded street between fields in Okazaki, 230 km (143 miles) west of Tokyo, August 29, 2008. (Credit: Reuters). Image may be subject to copyright.

“While the evacuation order was lifted, we urged residents to be cautious as we expect heavy rains tonight,” said a police official in the city of Okazaki, about 230 kilometers southwest of Tokyo.

“While the evacuation order was lifted, we urged residents to be cautious as we expect heavy rains tonight,” said Naoyuki Kato, a police official in the hardest-hit city of Okazaki, 140 miles (230 kilometers) southwest of Tokyo.

Okazaki, the worst affected city in the area, experienced a recors  downpour of about 15 centimeters per hour, Japan’s Meteorological Agency said.

A 76 year-old woman was drowned in her home, a man was in serious condition, and three others were missing in Okazaki.

Okazaki, 230 km (143 miles) west of Tokyo August 29, 2008 - i3
Homes are seen flooded after heavy rain in Okazaki, 230 km west of Tokyo August 29, 2008. REUTERS/Kyodo. Image may be subject to copyright.

Other highlights from Asahi Shimbun report:

  • The Tokai and Kanto regions were worst affected by the downpours from Thursday through Friday.
  • Heavy rain caused floods and landslides across wide areas. A mudslide in Hachioji, western Tokyo, derailed a Keio Takao Line train late Thursday.
  • In the 24 hours to 8:50 a.m. Friday, the rainfall had reached 302.5 millimeters.
  • As of 6 p.m. Friday, a total of 829 houses in 12 prefectures, including 687 in Aichi, were flooded above floor level.
  • In addition, 2,493 houses in 17 prefectures were flooded below floor level.
  • In the Kanto region, heavy rain damaged points at Takao Station late Thursday, cancelling 195 train runs and affecting 130,000 people.
  • On Thursday night, a Keio Takao Line train was derailed by a mudslide on the tracks.
  • Thunderstorms caused power outages to 20,000 households in Tokyo as well as in Kanagawa, Tochigi and Ibaraki prefectures on Friday morning.
  • Water levels were critical at six rivers in the Tokai and Kanto regions.
  • Sporadic torrential rain could fall again because continued atmospheric instability was expected.


Japanese firefighters search for a missing 80-year-old woman at the Iga river near her damaged house in Okazaki, Aichi prefecture, on August 29.  (AFP/Jiji Press). Image may be subject to copyright.

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