Nagoya orders 80,000 out as typhoon nears

Man in Saga killed while two people in Gifu go missing


A man died while two others went missing as heavy rains fell Tuesday across a wide area of central and western Japan as Typhoon Roke headed toward the mainland.

In Karatsu, Saga Prefecture, a 71-year-old man died after being swept away by high waves when he went to a nearby port to moor his boat.

In Gifu Prefecture, a boy in the fourth grade was missing after being swept away in a swollen waterway in the city of Tajimi at around 2 p.m., the prefectural government said. In the town of Shirakawa, an 84-year-old man fell into a river and went missing, police said.

Nagoya officials, meanwhile, instructed about 80,000 people to evacuate and issued an evacuation advisory to more than 1 million others as the typhoon threatened to cause further landslides and flooding in the Kii Peninsula area.

The evacuation instruction was issued to about 30,000 households in Nagoya’s Moriyama and Kita wards amid rising fears that the Tenpaku and Shonai rivers could flood.

Evacuation advisories were also issued elsewhere in Aichi Prefecture, as well as Gifu, Hyogo, Miyazaki, Oita and Wakayama prefectures due to concerns about possible flooding and landslides.

The Meteorological Agency called for vigilance, especially on the Kii Peninsula, which suffered devastation from a deadly typhoon earlier this month, as dams of mud created by in Wakayama Prefecture and elsewhere were on the verge of bursting after downpours from Typhoon Roke brought water levels to the brim Tuesday morning.

Picking up speed as it moved eastward over waters south of Kyushu, the typhoon could strike Honshu on Wednesday, the Meteorological Agency said.

Disaster management minister Tatsuo Hirano said in the morning that rainwater accumulating behind the mud dams caused earlier this month by Typhoon Talas in Tanabe, Wakayama Prefecture, has “gradually begun to overflow.”

Chief Cabinet Secretary Osamu Fujimura said at a separate news conference in Tokyo that the mud dams in Tanabe “could burst any minute now” and urged people in the affected areas to follow evacuation instructions and move quickly to safe places.

Land ministry officials warned of an increased likelihood of the breaching of the dams and landslides, although none had yet been observed.

In the 24 hours through midday Wednesday, up to 500 mm of rain was expected in the Tokai, Kinki and Shikoku areas, and 250 mm in southern Kyushu, as well as the Kanto-Koshin area in central and eastern Japan.

Record rainfalls for September have already been logged in areas in Aichi, Kochi and Miyazaki prefectures. Among them, the town of Misato in Miyazaki was pounded by 87 mm of rain an hour.

As precipitation increases, some areas may experience torrential rain of more than 80 mm an hour.

In Tanabe, local authorities instructed 29 people to evacuate from an area that could be flooded if mud dams are breached.