National

Typhoon Noru deluge prompts evacuation orders in central regions

by Eric Johnston

Staff Writer

Typhoon Noru prompted evacuation notices in at least half a dozen prefectures over fears of landslides and rising rivers as it brought heavy rains and flooding to the Hokuriku and Kansai regions on Tuesday.

As of Tuesday afternoon, at least two people were reported dead in Kagoshima Prefecture and over 50 injured as the large, slow-moving typhoon passed through Kyushu and Shikoku earlier in the week before moving on to Kansai, Tokai and the Sea of Japan on Tuesday morning.

Noru caused flooding in the Ane river in northern Shiga Prefecture as it continued its way through Fukui, Ishikawa, Toyama, and Niigata prefectures.

“On the slope (of a hill), the water is running like a water fall,” said Yoshinori Yoneda, a 49-year-old firefighter in Nagahama, Shiga Prefecture.

The Meteorological Agency predicts Noru will continue to head north along the Sea of Japan coastline and center itself over Akita Prefecture by Wednesday morning. However, the typhoon is expected to be downgraded to a tropical depression by Wednesday evening.

In Tsuruga, Fukui Prefecture, an evacuation advisory was issued for nearly 7,000 people early Tuesday morning but lifted at noon.

Authorities in the Hokuriku region continued to warn residents of possible flooding of local rivers and mudslides due to the heavy rains. The Meteorological Agency forecast up to 250 millimeters of rain for parts of Hokuriku, 200 millimeters for parts the northern Kanto region, and as much as 180 millimeters for parts the Tohoku region over a 24-hour period from early Tuesday to early Wednesday morning.

Flights and trains in the Kansai and Hokuriku regions were disrupted Tuesday due to the storm. Trains from Osaka and Kyoto to Fukui Prefecture and Kanazawa, Ishikawa Prefecture, were cancelled or delayed late Monday and early Tuesday. Some lines had reopened by Tuesday afternoon, though many express trains were being delayed due to heavy rains and high winds. In addition, trains along the coast of Wakayama Prefecture, as well as between Osaka and Nagoya, were canceled or disrupted.

The storm knocked out power in the Kansai region on Monday. Some 28,000 locations, including nearly 13,000 homes and businesses in Wakayama and 6,600 locations in Kyoto and Hyogo prefectures were briefly without electricity Tuesday. By 5 p.m. Tuesday, Kansai Electric Power Co. said that power had been restored to all service areas.

Japan Airlines and All Nippon Airways saw 37 flights in the Shikoku, Kansai, Hokuriku, and Tohoku areas canceled as of Tuesday morning. Both airlines warned passengers flying on Tuesday or Wednesday to and from airports in the Hokuriku, Kanto, Tohoku, Chubu, and Kansai regions to check flight schedules for cancellations or delays due to the typhoon.

The passing of Noru on Monday and Tuesday brought the return of extremely high temperatures and humidity to most of the western part of the country. The Meteorological Agency warned Tuesday that the temperatures in Kochi, Oita, and Miyazaki prefectures were predicted to reach 37 degrees, while Hiroshima and Takamatsu were expected to hit 36 degrees, with 35 degree temperatures in Osaka, Shizuoka, and Fukuoka.

Information from Kyodo added