Oshima evacuation advisory, order lifted as Typhoon Francisco downgraded

All of island's residents advised to evacuate

Kyodo

A blanket evacuation advisory and a partial evacuation order issued for Izu-Oshima Island were lifted Saturday afternoon as Typhoon Francisco was downgraded to an extratropical cyclone, local authorities said.

After the 27th typhoon of the year passed by the island, the main town of Oshima canceled the advisory issued to all 8,365 islanders and the order covering around 1,300 residents in districts at risk of being hit by landslides.

More than 1,300 residents spent Friday night taking shelter at schools and other public facilities as Francisco approached, and heavy rain and strong winds lashed the island earlier Saturday. Total rainfall on Oshima, about 120 km south of Tokyo, has exceeded 130 mm since Friday night.

The Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Ministry confirmed there has been no new damage from landslides on Oshima, which was hit hard Oct. 15 by powerful Typhoon Wipha, which killed at least 31 people and left another 12 missing .

The evacuation advisory for all Oshima residents was issued Friday afternoon, the municipality’s first such step in 27 years. In 1986, residents were evacuated due to the volcanic eruption of the island’s Mount Mihara.

Due to the latest typhoon, rescue workers on Oshima suspended the search for people still missing after Wipha triggered fatal landslides. The workers — police officers, firefighters and Self-Defense Forces personnel — focused on aiding evacuation efforts and preparing for further damage.

They are expected to resume the search Sunday for the 12 people still unaccounted for.

Oshima Mayor Masafumi Kawashima told a news conference that islanders “acted calmly” and that the municipality aims to “share this experience with residents and utilize the lessons the next time (it faces a natural disaster).”

On Friday, Francisco dumped torrential rain on Shikoku and the Meteorological Agency issued warnings for landslides and flooding across many parts of the country.