Heavy rains flood areas of Japan recovering from typhoons
NARITA, Japan (AP) — Torrential rain caused flooding and mudslides Friday in towns east of Tokyo, leaving one dead and two missing and expanding damage in areas still recovering from recent typhoons.
Muddy waters spilled from several rivers in Chiba, southeast of Tokyo, where pedestrians waded through waist-deep floods. A highway toll gate near Narita International Airport was temporarily closed for safety. Many passengers who landed at the airport were stuck because trains there were suspended.
Mudslides crushed three houses in Midori district in Chiba, and one of three people who were buried underneath them died. Rescuers were searching for the other two. Mudslides also hit at least two homes in nearby cities, but residents were all safely rescued, Chiba disaster management officials said.
Heavy rain also washed out the second round of the PGA Tour’s first tournament held in Japan, the Zozo Championship in Inzai City, where Tiger Woods was tied with Gary Woodland at 64 after Thursday’s opening round.
The Meteorological Agency on Friday morning predicted up to 180 millimeters (7 inches) of rain over the next 24 hours. NHK public television said the average rainfall for the entire month had fallen in just a half day Friday. The downpour was coming from a low-pressure system hovering above Japan’s main island of Honshu that headed north later Friday.
More than 9,000 homes, including 6,000 in Chiba prefecture and 2,500 in nearby Ibaraki prefecture, were without electricity, according to Tokyo Electric Power Co.
Chiba city issued an evacuation advisory to residents of several districts because of a growing risk of flooding or mudslides. Strong rain also fell in Tokyo but subsided by late Friday.
Many areas in Chiba are still recovering from a typhoon last month and another earlier this month. Typhoon Hagibis this month caused widespread flooding farther north and left more than 80 people dead or presumed dead across Japan.
Yoshiki Takeuchi, an office worker who lives in a riverside house in Sodegaura City, said he had just finished temporary repairs to his roof after tiles were blown off by the September typhoon. The downpour was extremely intense, he told Kyodo News. “I wasn’t ready for another disaster like this. I’ve had enough of this, and I need a break.”
Residents of central and northern Japan, including Nagano and Fukushima, which were among the worst hit by Hagibis, were also urged to take precautions. Iwaki City in Fukushima issued an evacuation advisory to its residents. Repairs to river embankments in the area that were damaged by the previous typhoon have not been completed.
Associated Press writer Mari Yamaguchi in Tokyo contributed to this report.