Heavy rain causes severe damage in Japan

Between threats of rain and sweltering heat, the weather remained extremely choppy, Saturday, August 6, in much of Japan, after a week of devastating rains over many areas of the country. They caused at least two deaths in Iwate and Yamagata (north) prefectures and caused extensive damage to infrastructure, sometimes forcing the authorities to mobilize the Japanese Self-Defense Forces. Floods washed away a railway bridge and a road bridge in Yamagata Prefecture. “We are trying to assess the extent of the damage and are doing everything we can to respond to it.”Explained, Friday, August 5, Minister of Territory and Transport Tetsuo Saito. In the northeast, the region most affected by the rains, the Ministry of Environment called for caution for this Saturday, as temperatures threaten to exceed 30 degrees Celsius and cause heat stroke among residents and residents. .

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At the same time, the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) maintained forecasts of heavy rain for several departments in the central and western regions of the archipelago. It feared up to 150 mm of precipitation in the Tokai region (central, around Nagoya), and maintained the alert level at 3 – on a scale ranging from 1 to 5 – in certain areas of Hyogo and Dei Mie (Central) prefectures. This level calls for the evacuation of the elderly and people with reduced mobility.

Also, 37 administrations were subjected to precautionary advice (level 2) in the face of risks of heavy rain or thunderstorms. The Shinkansen Express remained suspended on the northeastern lines.

Increased damage

However, the situation looks less severe than in the past days, which were marked by record rains. The rain front along with the low pressure system caused 52 rivers to overflow in nine sections in three days. Authorities also counted 22 landslides. The JMA recorded 405.5 mm of rain in the 24 hours through Friday morning in Minamichizen, Central Fukui Prefecture. This level is 2.2 times higher than the average for the entire month of August. Parts of Shiga and Shimane (Western) prefectures also recorded record rainfall every hour.

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Heavy rain is not exceptional in Japan, especially in the summer, but it is increasing and causing more damage than ever. In 2018, floods and landslides killed more than 200 people in western Japan. In 2021, heavy rains caused a devastating landslide in the resort of Atami (center), killing 27 people.

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