Heavy rain pounds Japan, prompting evacuation alerts, flood warnings

Photo: english.kyodonews.net
TOKYO. KAZINFORM - Heavy rain pounded central and western Japan on Friday prompting evacuation orders and warnings of rivers bursting their banks, with the severe weather expected to continue into the weekend, Kyodo reports.

The rain also brought disruption to transportation services, including cancellations of shinkansen bullet train services and local lines. Among them, Central Japan Railway Co. suspended all bullet train services in both directions between Tokyo Station and Shin-Osaka Station in the country's west in the afternoon.

Thunderstorms were observed developing one after another in six prefectures, causing concentrated heavy rainfall, including in the western Japan prefectures of Kochi, Nara and Wakayama.

In Toyohashi in central Japan's Aichi Prefecture, the local government issued an emergency evacuation warning to around 76,000 residents living in the basins of the two rivers that flow through the city.

The city of Iwata in Shizuoka Prefecture issued similar orders to some of its residents over concerns that rivers could burst their banks.

The Japan Meteorological Agency reported record rainfall in two municipalities in the six hours through 4:20 p.m., with 291 millimeters falling in part of Tosashimizu in western Japan's Kochi Prefecture and 229 mm in Shinshiro in Aichi Prefecture.

The agency says it expects the heavy rain to continue falling into Saturday over an area spanning western to northern Japan, and it is urging vigilance including against landslides and overflowing rivers.

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