Homes swept away; evacuations ordered

Tohoku flooding leaves one dead

Kyodo

At least eight houses were swept away by floods and at least one person died Friday as torrential rain hit parts of northern Japan, prompting the Meteorological Agency to issue evacuation warnings.

A 91-year-old woman died in Hanamaki, Iwate Prefecture, following a landslide, according to the local fire department.

Meanwhile, three women were rescued from their houses in Senboku, Akita Prefecture, but one of them was in critical condition. Other local residents are also unaccounted for, and police are trying to confirm their whereabouts.

The weather agency called on residents of parts of Akita and Iwate prefectures to take “immediate action to protect their lives,” and to “head to an evacuation center, or stay in a safe place inside their home if it is difficult to go out.”

The city of Odate ordered 50 members of 16 households and advised more than 50 households to evacuate due to fears of a landslide, while the city of Kazuno, also in Akita, issued a similar advisory to some 1,120 households because of a swollen river.

In Shizukuishi, Iwate Prefecture, a bus with about 40 passengers aboard, as well as 10 cars, became stranded after roads flooded. One car was reportedly washed away, local officials said.

Bullet train services on the Akita Shinkansen Line were partially suspended.

Kazuno saw a record 108.5 mm of rain fall in an hour. Roughly 300 mm of rain had fallen since the morning, nearly double the average monthly rainfall for August.