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Wednesday, September 09, 2015

Tokyo Flooded,23" Rain,Landslides-37,000 Evacuated

Rare Emergency Warning Issued - 

Evacuations Ordered as Flooding Rains  Drench Greater Tokyo; Landslides, Injuries Reported

A rare emergency weather warning has been issued near Tokyo as torrential rain continues to inundate parts of Japan in the wake of former Tropical Storm Etau, causing flooding and landslides and at least 16 reported injuries. At least 37,000 people have been ordered to evacuate and another 600,000 are being advised to do likewise as extremely heavy rain continues in parts of the world's largest metropolitan area.
Just after midnight early Thursday morning (Japan time), the Japan Meteorological Agency issued an emergency warning for heavy rainfall in Tochigi Prefecture, north of Tokyo, where more than 20 inches of rain has fallen in 24 hours in some locations. (Japan is 13 hours ahead of U.S. Eastern Daylight Time.) Social media images showed at least one flooded train station in the prefecture, where tens of thousands have been advised to evacuate to higher ground.
Rainfall totals have topped 20 inches (500 millimeters) in several locations north of Tokyo, and rain continues to fall heavily in the hardest-hit areas of eastern Japan.
Rainfall Reports
Rainfall Reports
The path history of Tropical Storm Etau, along with selected rainfall reports from the Japan Meteorological Agency.
    Enhanced Satellite and Current Winds
    Enhanced Satellite and Current Winds
    Red and purple shades indicate colder, and therefore higher, cloud tops, a sign of vigorous thunderstorm activity (convection).

      A landslide caused by Tropical Storm Etau affected houses in Toba city, Mie Prefecture on Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2015. The powerful storm made landfall in nearby Aichi Prefecture Wednesday morning, dumping more than a foot (300 millimeters) of rain on parts of central and eastern Japan. (Credit: The Yomiuri Shimbun via AP Images) 

        Flooding, Landslides Reported

        A stationary front draped just south of Japan's Pacific coastline helped to wring out locally heavy rainfall ahead of Etau's arrival. Some of the heaviest rains were reported in Shizuoka Prefecture, just southwest of Tokyo. At least 16 people have been injured in storm-related incidents in Shizuoka and six other prefectures, according to public broadcaster NHK.
        As Etau moved north into the Sea of Japan Wednesday, a band of heavy rain stalled over the Kanto region, including Tokyo. Even though Etau was declared post-tropical late Wednesday evening, the band of rain continues to bring torrential rainfall over Tokyo and points to the north as of 6 a.m. local time Thursday.
        The rain has been extraordinarily heavy in and around the city of Nikkō, a popular tourist destination in Tochigi Prefecture. JMA's observation side in that city's Imaichi district has recorded 586.0 millimeters (23.07 inches) of rain in the past 72 hours as of 5 a.m. local time Thursday. Of that amount, 529 mm (20.83 inches) had fallen in the last 24 hours. The nearby Ikari observation site in Nikkō city logged 540 mm (21.26 inches) of rain in the same 24-hour period.
        Those sites' 24-hour rainfall totals were the highest ever recorded since rainfall measurements began there in the late 1970s – and the 24-hour totals alone at both sites are greater than the previous 72-hour records for each location. The same is true of several other nearby sites – a sign of just how extreme the rainfall has been.
        The Japanese government's Fire and Disaster Management Agency said that as of 1:20 a.m. Japan time Thursday, about 664,000 people were under evacuation advisories, down from 1.1 million Wednesday evening. Most of those were in Kanagawa Prefecture, just south of Tokyo, but evacuations have also been recommended for parts of Tochigi Prefecture where the emergency rainfall warning is in effect.
        Evacuations have become mandatory in some locales as the rain continues. Some 23,000 residents of Kanuma city, Tochigi Prefecture, were ordered to evacuate late Wednesday local time due to the high risk of flooding and landslides, according to NHK. Another 7,500 people in Tochigi City were ordered to flee, as were 7,000 people in the city of Joso, Ibaraki Prefecture.
        The Tochigi prefectural government said seven landslides were reported in the prefecture Wednesday. One house was damaged in one of the landslides, but there were no injuries. The government said five people were stranded in Nikkō due to flooding on a local river, and rescue efforts were underway Wednesday night.
        Elsewhere in Tochigi Prefecture, officials are investigating whether earlier rainfall contributed to a slope failure at a mine in Ashikaga on Tuesday afternoon. According to Tokyo television station TBS, a 20-year-old worker was buried alive and later died in the hospital.
        In Shizuoka Prefecture, flash floods and landslides were reported Tuesday in the city of Hamamatsu, according to NHK. Sediment from one of the landslides overturned a car, slightly injuring a man in his 40s, NHK said. In addition, two people were slightly injured after falling in flooded roadways in the city. At least 49 locations in Hamamatsu reported road flooding, along with 35 in the neighboring city of Iwata.
        NHK also said a section of cliff 10 meters (33 feet) high and 10 meters wide crumbled behind houses in a Hamamatsu neighborhood. No injuries were reported. Hamamatsu reported 388.5 millimeters (15.30 inches) of rainfall in the 72-hour period ending at 9:20 a.m. Japan time Wednesday, according to JMA data. NHK said there were at least 11 landslides in Shizuoka Prefecture alone.
        On Wednesday, JMA issued landslide warnings parts of Miyagi and Fukushima prefectures, including areas near the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant that suffered a catastrophic meltdown after the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami. According to the Mainichi Shimbun, a national newspaper, the heavy rain caused contaminated water from the site to run off into the Pacific Ocean for several hours early Wednesday. It was the seventh such incident at Fukushima Daiichi this year, the newspaper said.
        Among areas closer to the point of landfall, the top rainfall total was 424.5 mm (16.71 inches) on Mount Amagi in Shizuoka Prefecture in the 72-hour period ending at 4:20 p.m. local time Wednesday. The rain has ended there.
        While winds have not been strong enough to cause much damage, they have caused some injuries. NHK said an elderly woman in Aichi Prefecture suffered a serious leg injury after falling during strong winds in the city of Toyobashi on Wednesday morning. Also on Wednesday morning, two elderly men suffered lesser injuries in Shizuoka Prefecture from similar falls.
        NHK said at least 27 flights were canceled in and out of Chubu Centrair Airport near Nagoya due to the tropical storm. Winds at Centrair gusted as high as 64 mph late Wednesday morning local time.

        Tokyo Lashed With Heavy Rain, Flooding

        By Eric Leister, Meteorologist
        June 8, 2014; 5:30 AM ET
        Share |
        Play videoThe above video details the weather across Asia.
        The Greater Tokyo Area will experience several days of moderate to heavy rainfall through the first part of the weekend.
        A slow-moving storm system has already brought a swath of 100-200 mm (4-8 inches) of rain to southern Japan, including the far northern Ryukyu Islands, eastern Kyushu, Shikoku and southern Honshu. Local rainfall amounts have exceeded 380 mm (15 inches) across parts of southern Shikoku and Honshu.
        Heavy rainfall from Wednesday through Thursday totaled more than 500 mm (20 inches) in the city of Owase, in southern Honshu.
        The heavy rain pushed into Tokyo on Friday and will continue through Saturday. More than 150 mm (6 inches) have already fallen in the city with local amounts approaching 200 mm (8 inches)
        Raindrops on a window in Tokyo, courtesy of Thinkstock.

        Contributing sources:


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