National

Deluge leaves two dead; GSDF sent in to help

Kyodo

Heavy rain pounded Niigata and Fukushima prefectures Tuesday, leaving two people dead, one injured and two others missing, according to local officials.

About 18,000 households in the two prefectures were ordered or advised to evacuate, while Ground Self-Defense Force troops were sent in to assist with disaster management.

The rain is part of a frontal system stretching from the Hokuriku region to the southern Tohoku region, according to the Meteorological Agency.

The agency said Tuesday morning that the city of Tochio and areas around the village of Shitada had about 80 mm of rain in a one-hour period, while the city of Mitsuke experienced a deluge of 70 mm in 60 minutes.

In Niigata, police said Kihachiro Imai, 83, died after being buried in a mudslide behind his house in Tochio, adding that Hisae Nanba, 72, was found dead in Izumozaki, where her house was buried in a mudslide.

A 44-year-old man was slightly injured after falling into a swollen river in Nishi-Aizu, Fukushima.

A 72-year-old woman in Tsugawa in Niigata and a 75-year-old man in Showa, Fukushima, went missing after they went out to perform agricultural work.

Niigata Gov. Ikuo Hirayama asked that the GSDF be dispatched to assist in preventing the Igarashi River from overflowing its banks in Shitada and the city of Sanjo.

About 5,200 households in Mitsuke were ordered evacuated.

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