Asia

Death toll climbs to 10 as heavy rains hit typhoon-ravaged eastern Japan

TOKYO: The death toll from torrential rains that caused flooding and mudslides in eastern Japan reached 10 on Saturday (Oct 26), with three others missing, public broadcaster NHK reported, just two weeks after the region was hit hard by a powerful typhoon.

On Friday, landslides ripped through waterlogged areas in Chiba and Fukushima prefectures, in eastern and northeastern Japan, which were inundated by their third rainstorms in six weeks. In some places, a month's worth of rain unleashed by a low-pressure system fell in half a day.

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Evacuation orders and advisories were issued along much of the northern corridor already hit by two typhoons since last month. The city of Ushiku in Chiba received 283.5mm of rain over 12 hours.

A house destroyed due to a landslide caused by a heavy rain is seen in Chiba, east of Tokyo, Japan October 25, 2019, in this photo released by Kyodo. Mandatory credit Kyodo/via REUTERS

Although the storm had moved away from Japan by Saturday, hundreds of residents were still in evacuation centres and some rail and bus services remained suspended.

The torrential downpour also forced rivers some roads to close and around 4,700 households were still without water in Chiba, the public broadcaster said.

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READ: Storm-hit areas in Japan battered by heavy rains, evacuations ordered

READ: Mercy Relief launches public fundraising appeal for typhoon-hit Japan

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe held a disaster task force meeting on Saturday, calling for the utmost efforts in rescue and relief work, and assessing the damage.

Authorities warned of the chance of further landslides and floods, especially in areas hit by levee breaks that have yet to be repaired after Typhoon Hagibis lashed central and eastern Japan with heavy rains and high winds.

That typhoon killed at least 88 people, with seven others still missing and more than 300 injured.

An aerial view shows a Japan Self-Defence Force helicopter flying over residential areas flooded by the Chikuma river following Typhoon Hagibis in Nagano, central Japan, Oct 13, 2019. (Photo: Reuters/Kyodo)

"It has been two weeks since the disaster caused by Typhoon 19 (Hagibis) and the rain has continued to fall intermittently so people to need to take the necessary caution," Abe said in a tweet.

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