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More than 540 000 people ordered to evacuate as heavy rainfall hits Japan

As of Thursday morning (LT), August 4, 2022, over 540 000 residents living in the Tohoku and Hokuriku regions of Japan were ordered to evacuate as heavy rains continue falling over the Sea of Japan shoreline, triggering floods and landslides.

  • Evacuation orders are in effect in Aomori, Iwate, Yamagata, Fukushima, Niigata, Ishikawa and Fukui prefectures on August 4.
  • Several people are missing.

According to the country’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, the Mogami River in Nagai, Yamagata Prefecture, overflowed its banks in the early hours of Thursday, flooding homes, roads and railways.

At least two bridges have already collapsed, one in Yamagata and another in Kitakata, Fukushima Prefecture

During a news conference on Thursday morning, Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno said that around 1 900 households, most of them in Niigata Prefecture and neighboring areas, have lost power, while 380 households were experiencing water supply cutoffs.1

Two people were missing as of Thursday morning, but the number reportedly increased as the day progressed.

Later in the day, the land ministry and Kanazawa Prefecture’s meteorological observatory reported that the Kakehashi River, which passes through Ishikawa Prefecture and the districts of Haneda, Ukawa, and Yusenji in the city of Komatsu, had also burst its banks.

According to data provided by the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA), hourly rainfall of 100 – 120 mm (3.93 – 4.72 inches) were observed in many areas in Yamagata.

In 24 hours to Wednesday night, August 3, Oguni registered 277 mm (10.90 inches) while Iide registered 273 mm (10.74 inches).

Early Thursday morning, 149 millimeters (5.86 inches) of rain were registered in just one hour in the Niigata town of Sekikawa.

The town recorded 414.5 mm (16.31 inches) of rain in 24 hours to August 4, breaking the previous daily record of 212 mm (8.34 inches) set in July 2014.

Another daily record was broken in the city of Murakami, Niigata on August 3 with 395.5 mm (15.57 inches). Its previous daily rainfall record was 290 mm (11.41 inches) set in 2005.

References:

1 About 540,000 Japan residents told to evacuate after heavy rain floods homes and roads – The Japan Times – August 4, 2022

Featured image credit: JMA/Himawari-8, Zoom Earth, The Watchers

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