Downpours lashed many parts of the country Tuesday afternoon, disrupting railway services and road traffic amid temperatures of over 30 degrees during the day.
In Tokyo’s Otemachi district, 80 mm of rain was recorded between 5:30 and 6:30 p.m., the second heaviest hourly rainfall in the history of the metropolitan area, according to the Meteorological Agency, which issued a heavy rain warning for the area.
All subway services on the Marunouchi Line in Tokyo were suspended shortly before 7 p.m. due to lightning and heavy rain that flooded the tracks between Akasakamitsuke and Kokkaigijidomae, Teito Rapid Transit Authority said. Service was restored shortly afterward.
The Metropolitan Police Department received three reports of people trapped underground in flooded buildings before 7 p.m., prompting the dispatch of rescue workers to the scenes.
Localized thunderstorms also wreaked havoc on many shinkansen in central Japan.
Rain forced bullet trains to slow on the Tokaido, Yamagata and Nagano Shinkansen lines, JR officials reported.
Beginning at 3 p.m., 49 mm of rain fell in Chino, Nagano Prefecture, and 47 mm in the town of Nishiki, Yamaguchi Prefecture, the Meteorological Agency said.
Trains on the Yamagata Shinkansen were knocked out of service in a section between Fukushima and Yamagata for 11/2 hours due to heavy rain in Nanyo, Yamagata Prefecture.
Lightning struck close to a JR Tokai transformer substation in the town of Fujikawa, Shizuoka Prefecture, at about 4:30 p.m., causing Tokaido Shinkansen Line services in a section between Mishima and Shizuoka to be suspended for about five minutes
In the meantime, weather officials said that the season’s third typhoon, which is idling in the Pacific Ocean east of the Philippines, could cause massive landslides if it heads northeast and hits the Izu Islands this weekend.
Massive landslides may occur on Kozu Island because its terrain has been loosened by a series of strong quakes over the past few days, the agency said.
On Saturday, a powerful quake measuring lower 6 on the 7-point Japanese intensity scale hit Kozu Island, triggering landslides and killing one person.
Nine fairly strong earthquakes, all registering 4 on the Japanese scale, jolted the islands of Niijima, Kozu and Miyake in the Izu Islands chain on Monday.
The agency said it will start observing the weather on Kozu Island from Wednesday evening after building an emergency automated meteorological data acquisition system as there is no local meteorological observatory on the island.
According to the agency, the typhoon had almost stopped moving in the Pacific off the Philippines by 3 p.m. Tuesday.
The fairly strong typhoon has an atmospheric pressure of 950 hectopascals at its center and winds of up to 144 kph, the agency said.
The typhoon is expected to reach waters some 310 km south of Okinodaito Island in Okinawa Prefecture at around 3 p.m. Wednesday, the agency said.