OSAKA – Evacuation orders were issued Thursday for 110,000 people in Kyoto Prefecture due to an escalating risk of mudslides as heavy rains hit the area.
The Meteorological Agency warned of landslides and rising river levels as the downpours may continue through Sunday in the region including Kyoto, Hyogo and Osaka prefectures, part of which is still reeling from a deadly earthquake in June.
At a construction site in Inagawa, Hyogo Prefecture, a worker died after being washed away in a drainage pipe with two others. He is believed to be a 59-year-old man from Wakayama City. The rain also disrupted traffic and caused landslides in the city of Otsu, Shiga Prefecture, and in Kobe.
Evacuation orders were also issued for locations in Ibaraki, Osaka Prefecture, which saw significant damage due to the magnitude 6.1 quake on June 18.
In the city of Kyoto, rising water levels in the Kamo River — which runs through the city’s central area — have led authorities to prohibit people from entering its riverside promenade, known as one of the city’s sightseeing spots. A bridge across the Katsura River in Arashiyama, another famous tourist attraction in the city, was also closed for the same reason.
Multiple express and local trains were canceled and the Shin-Meishin Expressway connecting central and western Japan was partially closed Thursday, according to railway and highway operators.
The agency said heavy rain of up to 70 millimeters per hour is expected through Friday in the region. In the 24-hour period through 6 a.m. Friday, up to 350 mm of rainfall was forecast for the area.