Izu-Oshima issues evacuation warning as heavy rains near

Kyodo

The municipal government of Izu-Oshima Island advised about 2,300 residents to evacuate because rainfall expected later Saturday was expected to worsen conditions on the island, which was battered earlier in the week by a powerful typhoon that killed 27 people and left 21 missing.

The local government set up four evacuation shelters in local schools and community centers and started to transport residents to the shelters by bus.

Oshima Mayor Masafumi Kawashima later said he would upgrade the warning to an evacuation directive if the weather worsened further, noting another typhoon is approaching the Japanese archipelago from the south. The Meteorological Agency said that powerful Typhoon Francisco, the 27th of the year, could reach the nation as early as Wednesday.

Meanwhile, local authorities in areas subject to the evacuation advisory stopped searching for people missing since Wednesday, when Typhoon Wipha brought torrential rainfall to the island south of Tokyo, causing mudslides that destroyed houses and buried residents alive. The search and rescue effort has exceeded 72 hours, cited by experts as the most critical post-disaster time frame for locating survivors.

Some 1,200 people have been involved in the search for survivors, including officers of the Metropolitan Police Department, rescue teams of the Tokyo Fire Department and members of the Self-Defense Forces.

They had to stop the search when the evacuation order was issued.