• Kyodo

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The weather agency warned Wednesday that a severe tropical storm expected to bring heavy rain as it heads toward the eastern part of the country could cause landslides and flooding.

Tropical Storm Dolphin, this year’s 12th storm, is on course to approach eastern and northeastern Japan, with heavy rain expected along the Pacific coast Thursday and Friday, the Meteorological Agency said.

The public should brace for tornadoes, high tides and thunder as well, it said.

The government Wednesday launched a task force at the Prime Minister’s Office to gather information in cooperation with ministries and agencies concerned.

Hachiro Okonogi, minister for disaster management, called on local governments to prepare for smooth evacuation of residents.

In the 24 hours through 6 a.m. Thursday, rainfall of up to 200 millimeters is expected in the Tokai region and the Izu island chain in the Pacific Ocean.

In the following 24 hours, rainfall of up to 200 mm to 300 mm is forecast for Tokyo and neighboring prefectures, and up to 100 mm to 200 mm for the Tohoku region and the Izu island chain, according to the agency.

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