NAGOYA – Evacuation orders were lifted Thursday in most areas of Aichi Prefecture following heavy rain earlier this week that flooded thousands of homes, officials said.
Municipal authorities lifted the order for all 6,600 residents of the town of Nishibiwajima at 7 a.m. Thursday, but about 2,700 were stuck at evacuation centers Thursday night as their homes were still under water, officials said.
About 1,000 residents of parts of Nagoya also decided to remain at evacuation centers, officials said.
An all-night effort to drain the floodwaters Wednesday night was completed Thursday, except in some areas of Obu, in western Aichi.
While all telephone lines were restored the same day, about 7,000 households in the prefecture were still without electricity. Power is expected to be restored today.
Students went to school in Nishi Ward here and in the town of Shinkawa, which had been closed due to flooding, for the first time in three days, authorities said.
At Hoshinomiya Elementary School in Shinkawa, children cleaned classrooms covered with dirt in order to resume classes Saturday.
The school’s gymnasium is being used as an evacuation facility for dozens of local residents.
The school remained without power Thursday, but its tap water and some toilets were usable, municipal officials said.
In classes, each homeroom teacher took a roll call to make sure all the students were present.
Students talked with each other, recalling such storm experiences as their textbooks being soaked, refrigerators falling over and walls of houses collapsing.
Meanwhile, a 60-year-old man in Yokkaichi, Mie Prefecture, who had disappeared after falling into a flooded ditch, was found dead Thursday, brining the death toll from this week’s flooding in the Chubu region to nine.
Train services also resumed in some areas that had previously been closed.
Nagoya Railroad Co. resumed operations on all sections early Thursday, while Central Japan Railway Co. (JR Tokai) fully resumed operations on the Tokaido Line on Thursday evening, officials said.
The Aichi Prefectural Government set up sections at local public health centers to provide consultation to residents worried about flood-related food-poisoning and other epidemics, it said.
Nagoya Mayor Takehisa Matsubara visited an elementary school in Nishi Ward to meet with about 500 residents who had been evacuated.
Komeito senior lawmaker Toshiko Hamayotsu was also scheduled to visit Nishibiwajima and areas in Nagoya hardest-hit by the flooding, party officials said.
Rainfall of 400 mm was recorded in some areas of Miyazaki Prefecture on Thursday morning due to Typhoon Saomai, prompting the Meteorological Agency to issue warnings for western Japan.
The typhoon is now heading north, bringing more rain to areas along the Pacific in western Japan. It is expected to approach waters off western Kyushu tonight.
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