2 killed, 4 missing in torrential rain in northern Japan
Two people were killed, four were missing and about 400,000 residents were asked to evacuate areas of northern Japan after torrential rain hit the region overnight, news reports said Saturday, reported dpa.
Many areas in the prefectures of Niigata and Fukushima saw record rainfall that caused floods and landslides and isolated small communities. In Niigata, some levees broke and swaths of farmland and residential areas were inundated. One railway bridge was swept away.
About 400,000 residents in 22 municipalities in the two prefectures have been advised to leave the areas, although the advisory was lifted in some of the areas.
Cumulative rainfall over a 72-hour period until noon (0300 GMT) reached 623 millimetres in Kamo city on the coast of the Japan Sea and 700 millimeters in Tadami town, Fukushima.
The figures were more than double the average monthly precipitation in the areas for July, the Kyodo News agency reported citing the Meteorological Agency.
In Tokamachi city, a 67-year-old man was found dead after his car was washed away in a river, Kyodo said.
In Niigata, some trains services were suspended and part of major expressways were closed.
The downpour did not affect the stricken Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station, located on the east coast of the prefecture. The plant has released radioactive material since it was hit by the March earthquake and tsunami.
The agency did not expect more heavy rain in the two prefectures but warned of more flooding and landslides. Heavy rain was expected in central and eastern Japan through Sunday morning, the agency said.