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Published: 14:56, August 04, 2022 | Updated: 18:10, August 04, 2022
3 missing, thousands to evacuate as rain pounds northern Japan
By Reuters
Published:14:56, August 04, 2022 Updated:18:10, August 04, 2022 By Reuters

This handout pictures taken on Aug 4, 2022 and released by the Yamagata Prefectural Police shows Omaki Bridge, which connects to the town of Iide, Yamagata Prefecture, after it collapsed due to flooding of the local river in heavy rains across northern Japan. (HANDOUT / YAMAGATA PREFECTURAL POLICE / AFP)

TOKYO - At least three people were missing and thousands in northern Japan were ordered to evacuate on Thursday after torrential rains pounded the area, flooding roads and causing rivers to burst their banks in some regions.

More than 500 mm of rain had fallen in one part of Niigata prefecture in the 24 hours to 1:00 pm, NHK public television said, prompting authorities to issue the highest possible level of disaster warnings in some areas

More than 500 mm of rain had fallen in one part of Niigata prefecture in the 24 hours to 1:00 pm, NHK public television said, prompting authorities to issue the highest possible level of disaster warnings in some areas.

Bridges were cut and roads were flooded, television footage showed. Service along one portion of a Shinkansen superfast train line was suspended.

ALSO READ: Japan life expectancy falls for 1st time in decade due to COVID-19

Roughly 500,000 people were ordered to evacuate in Niigata, Ishikawa and Yamagata prefectures, the Fire and Disaster Management Agency said, but there were no immediate reports of fatalities.

Though the affected areas are largely rural, they are also home to a number of factories.

Major chipmaker Renesas Electronics Corp temporarily suspended operations at its factory in Yamagata, northern Japan, after local authorities issued a warning over heavy rains on Wednesday evening but said operations were mostly back to normal.

Technoflex Corporation said it was suspending production at a factory in Murakami due to a power outage and flooding until the situation stabilized.


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