AVA- More than 1.6 million people evacuated from their homes, public broadcaster NHK said on Saturday.
Japan’s Meteorological Agency issued special weather warnings across four prefectures in the west of Japan’s main island of Honshu, urging vigilance against landslides, rising rivers and strong winds amid what it called “historic” rains.
In Motoyama, a town on Shikoku island about 600km from Tokyo, 583mm of rain fell between Friday morning and Saturday morning, according to the Meteorological Agency.
The agency said that although a weather front had settled between western and eastern Japan, there was a risk that heavy rains would continue as warm air flowed towards the front, adding that already-saturated areas faced more rain on Sunday.
Among the dead were a man who fell from a bridge into a river in the western city of Hiroshima, and a 77-year-old man in Takashima, about 56km east of Kyoto, who was swept into a canal as he worked to remove debris, NHK said.
Five other people in Ehime, Hiroshima and Yamaguchi prefectures were in critical condition after being injured in landslides, the broadcaster added.
By Saturday morning, more than 1.6 million people had been ordered to evacuate their homes for fear of flooding and further landslides, with 3.1 million more advised to leave, according to the Fire and Disaster Management Agency.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said some 48,000 police, firefighters and members of Japan’s Self-Defence Forces were responding to appeals for help.
The weather also disrupted industry.
Some automakers halted production as the rain and flooding disrupted supply chains and risked workers’ safety, Kyodo news agency reported, adding that Mitsubishi Motors Corp halted operations at one plant because it could not get parts. Mazda Motor Corp stopped production lines at two plants so employees would not have to travel in hazardous conditions.
Saturday 7 July 2018 19:53