Evacuation orders issued as Japan’s northern regions battered by torrential rain

TOKYO — Torrential rain hit Japan’s northern regions of Fukushima and Niigata prefectures on Tuesday with the threat of floods and landslides leading to evacuation orders.

According to local media reports, 4,300 people residing in a town in western Fukushima were ordered to evacuate as rivers in the region were in danger of overflowing and amid concerns from local authorities about potential landslides.

East Japan Railway Co. said it had suspended some of its services in the Tohoku region due to the downpour.

In Niigata Prefecture, municipal officials ordered some 1,400 residents to evacuate to shelters due to fears of flooding in parts of the region.

The prefecture has also issued an evacuation advisory for 20,000 people spanning at-risk cities and towns in the district, located in the Chubu region which faces the Sea of Japan.

While there have been no reports of injuries or fatalities as a result of the downpour in Japan’s northern regions, the death toll in rain-ravaged southwestern Japan rose to 34 on Monday, with seven more people still unaccounted for.

Reconstruction work is underway in the hardest-hit areas and around 2,700 Self-Defense Forces personnel and firefighters are still searching for those missing since the deluge began on July 5.

Both search and reconstruction efforts were hampered a day earlier, however, as evacuation orders were issued to 16,000 residents in Fukuoka Prefecture’s flood-hit city of Asakura and the village of Toho. Xinhua-northboundasia.com