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Floods and mudslides from heavy rain in Japan kill at least 10

Towns east of Tokyo are still recovering from recent typhoons.

Vehicles are submerged in floodwaters after torrential rain in Sakura city, Chiba prefecture (Kyodo News via AP)
Vehicles are submerged in floodwaters after torrential rain in Sakura city, Chiba prefecture (Kyodo News via AP)

By Mari Yamaguchi, Associated Press Reporter

Torrential rain that caused flooding and mudslides in Tokyo has left at least 10 people dead and added fresh damage in areas still recovering from recent typhoons.

Rescue workers found the body of a person who had gone missing in Chiba prefecture, east of Tokyo, after getting caught up in floodwaters while driving.

Another person was unaccounted for in Fukushima, farther north, which is still reeling from damage by Typhoon Hagibis earlier this month.

The death toll from the flooding included nine people in Chiba and one in Fukushima.

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A residential area is flooded after torrential rain in Sakura city, Chiba prefecture, east of Tokyo (Kyodo News via AP)

While rains and floodwaters subsided, parts of Chiba were still inundated.

About 4,700 homes were out of running water and some train services were delayed or suspended.

In Midori district in Chiba, mudslides crushed three houses, killing three people who were buried underneath them.

Another mudslide hit a house in nearby Ichihara city, killing a woman.

In Nagara and Chonan towns, four people drowned when their vehicles were submerged.

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A part of road is damaged by floodwaters after torrential rain in Iwaki city (Kyodo News via AP)

“There was enormous noise and impact, ‘boom’ like an earthquake, so I went outside. Then look what happened. I was terrified,” said a Midori resident who lives near a crushed home.

“Rain was even more intense than the typhoons.”

In Fukushima, a woman was found dead in a park in Soma city after a report that a car was washed away. A passenger was still missing.

Rain also washed out Friday’s second round of the PGA Tour’s first tournament held in Japan, the Zozo Championship in Inzai city. Saturday’s second-round allowed no spectators.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe held an emergency task force meeting on Saturday morning and called for “the utmost effort in rescue and relief operations”.

He also urged quicks repairs of electricity, water and other essential services to help restore the lives of the disaster-hit residents.

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The Kashima River basin is submerged in waters after torrential rain in Sakura city (Kyodo News via AP)

The Prime Minister’s Office said the average rainfall for the entire month had fallen in just half a day on Friday.

The downpour came from a low-pressure system above Japan’s main island of Honshu that moved northward later on Friday.

Power was restored on Saturday at most of the 6,000 Chiba households that had lost electricity. About 390 people remained at shelters on Saturday afternoon.

Two weeks ago, Typhoon Hagibis caused widespread flooding and left more than 80 people dead or presumed dead across Japan.

An earlier typhoon in September had devastated Chiba, where more than 50,000 homes were damaged or destroyed, and 100 others flooded.

Friday’s downpour flooded more than 150 homes and damaged several others.

Yoshiki Takeuchi, an office worker who lives in a riverside house in Chiba’s Sodegaura city, said he had just finished temporary repairs to his roof after tiles were blown off by the September typhoon when Friday’s rains hit hard.

“I wasn’t ready for another disaster like this. I’ve had enough of this, and I need a break,” he told Kyodo News agency.

PA

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