Torrential rain moves into central and eastern Japan

Jul 08, 2020

Torrential rain moves into central and eastern Japan

Tokyo (Japan) July 8: The extreme weather that has buffeted southwestern Japan has now made its way to the central and eastern parts of the country. Japan's Meteorological Agency has downgraded its heavy rain emergency warning for parts of Gifu and Nagano prefectures. But officials are telling residents to continue to exercise caution as water levels are still rising in rivers across the region.
Nakamoto Yoshihisa of the Meteorological Agency says cities and towns in the affected areas are experiencing unprecedented rainfall. The agency had earlier issued a level-5 alert, the highest in its warning system, for the two prefectures. It has downgraded this, but evacuation orders and advisories are still in place across the region.
"It's highly likely that a disaster, such as a landslide or flooding, has already occurred in certain areas. People in the affected areas must be on alert and take every measure to protect their lives."
Officials in Gifu Prefecture have issued a highlevel warning after the Hida River flooded.
"Water from the river flowed into a rice paddy near my house," said an evacuee. "It was just five meters away. So we had to evacuate."
Rivers are also swelling in neighboring Nagano Prefecture, where officials say they have received several reports of flooded homes and mudslides blocking roads. Residents in several municipalities are being urged to evacuate.
Days of continuous heavy rain of have already led to many casualties in southwestern Japan, mainly in Kyushu. Kumamoto has been the hardest-hit prefecture, with 50 deals, including 14 elderly residents of a nursing home.
Across the country, at least 57 people have died and 17 are missing as of Wednesday. Rescue workers are currently searching for survivors.
Source: NHK World