130 rescued after heavy rain leaves them stranded at Hokkaido hot spring

Kyodo

Some 130 people who had been stranded at a hot spring resort in Hokkaido were rescued Wednesday after torrential rains triggered landslides in the area the previous day.

The people who were staying at Tenninkyo hot spring in the town of Higashikawa walked across what remained of a prefectural road near a river after a part of it slid away. They were then transported to the town hall in buses sent by local authorities. No one was injured.

“I’m glad I could return safely,” said a 51-year-old man who was visiting from Tokyo.

Over 200 millimeters of rainfall had been recorded in the city of Asahikawa from Monday through Wednesday morning, and major rivers including the Ishikari and Uryu flooded on Tuesday. The flooding forced some 300 people to evacuate and disrupted transportation networks.

In the town of Engaru, a bridge collapsed at its midpoint, apparently after a column in the middle section tilted due to flooding.

The Meteorological Agency projects that Hokkaido will see continued heavy rain throughout Thursday, along with wide areas of the country, as Typhoon Prapiroon advances.

The typhoon is expected to become an extratropical cyclone by Wednesday evening and approach northern Japan by Thursday afternoon, it said.