National

Landslides kill two more in Chiba after heavy rain blasts typhoon-hit areas

Flooding continues across Kanto as busted levees await repairs

Reuters, Kyodo

Landslides killed two people in Chiba and left another missing Friday as a wide swath of eastern Japan trying to recover from Typhoon Hagibis was hit again by heavy rain.

In the city’s Midori Ward, two landslides struck three houses, killing two residents — a man and a woman — both in their 60s. The third is believed to be a woman in her 40s, local police said.

Just to the south, in Ichihara, a 57-year-old woman was seriously injured when her home also got hit by a landslide, local police said.

Amid the downpours, evacuation advisories were issued for tens of thousands of people in areas surrounding Tokyo as authorities warned of the chance of further landslides and flooding — especially in areas hit by levee breaks that haven’t even been addressed.

Instructions to evacuate were issued to 10,000 Chiba residents in the cities of Kamogawa, Minamiboso, Ichihara and Mobara. Kamogawa alone got 85.5 mm of rain in just an hour on Friday morning, setting a city record.

The Chiba police said they received an emergency call Friday saying a river in the capital had flooded and a vehicle was swept away. A woman in her 70s was later rescued from an inundated vehicle uninjured, the police said.

At one point, the Chiba Prefectural Government announced that the Takataki Dam in Ichihara would release water from its reservoir later in the day as an emergency measure, but it refrained after water levels fell. A similar step for the Kameyama Dam in Kimitsu was aborted for the same reason.

Before Hagibis, many parts of Chiba were stuck without power for weeks because of widespread power line damage cauesd by unusually strong Typhoon Faxai in September.

Across the bay in Kanagawa Prefecture, an evacuation advisory was issued to 50,000 people in Sagamihara, which was hit hard by flooding from Hagibis and lost six residents, including a family that got swept away in their car. Two remain missing.

Meanwhile, up in Fukushima Prefecture, Iwaki received a record amount of rain from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Friday, flooding three rivers and prompting local authorities to issue an evacuation order for the entire city. No serious injuries were reported.

At Narita airport in Chiba, nine flights were rerouted due to heavy rain, its operator said. The Tokyo area was expected to get doused with 200 to 300 mm of rain by evening before moving north, the Meteorological Agency said.

Typhoon Bualoi, which battered the Ogasawara Islands south of the Japanese archipelago on Thursday, was headed out into the Pacific and expected to weaken later on Friday.

In Hagibis’ wake, at least 87 people were confirmed dead and eight missing as of Friday evening, according to a tally by Kyodo News.

The Cabinet Office said 3,864 people were still in shelters as of Friday, and the welfare ministry said 9,733 households were without water as of Friday.

River levees were broken at 140 locations of 71 rivers, and 618 landslides were confirmed in 20 prefectures, according to the land ministry.

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