On Saturday, July 8, 2023, heavy rains caused extensive damage in Shimane Prefecture and other western Japanese regions, prompting local authorities to urge approximately 370 000 residents in two cities to evacuate. Landslides and river floods have occurred in Izumo City, disrupting transportation, although vital services remained intact.
As torrential rain lashed Izumo City, authorities reported 15 landslides and 20 locations affected by river floods. Roads to four city districts were cut off, leaving them isolated. Despite this, the lifeline – essential services and infrastructure – remained intact, as reported by the provincial and city governments.
A vehicle was spotted plummeting into a river within the city limits. Local police and rescue workers are currently conducting a search operation for the driver.
The Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) recorded a six-hour rainfall total of 109 mm (4.3 inches) in Izumo on Saturday, while the adjacent Matsu District saw 95.5 mm (3.7 inches) of rain.
Heavy rain continued to batter western Japan on July 9, temporarily suspending bullet train services on the Sanyo Shinkansen line between Hiroshima and Hakata stations. West Japan Railway Co. reported that services were halted around 08:30 LT and did not resume until 13:00 between Hiroshima and Kokura, which is one stop from Hakata.
JMA issued warnings for landslides and flooding in Yamaguchi and nearby prefectures. The agency forecasts further heavy rainfall in the western and eastern regions due to a rainy season front lingering over the country.
In Kurume, Fukuoka Prefecture, hourly rainfall registered 65 mm (2.5 inches) until 11:00 LT on July 9, while in Oda, Shimane Prefecture, it stood at 62.5 mm (2.4 inches), and in Shimonoseki, Yamaguchi Prefecture, it recorded 55 mm (2.1 inches).
1 Heavy Rainfall Hits Japan, 370,000 Urged to Evacuate – See – July 8, 2023
2 Heavy rain halts some bullet train services in western Japan – The Mainichi – July 9, 2023
Featured image: JMA/Himawari-9, RAMMB/CIRA, The Watchers. Acquired at 07:40 UTC on July 9, 2023
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