TOKYO: Hundreds of thousands of residents in Japan were urged to evacuate on Friday as tropical storm Mawar brought heavy rain, causing several rivers to overflow and leaving two people missing.
A non-compulsory evacuation order was issued to more than 410,000 people in Toyota in the central Aichi region, as well as in other parts of western and central Japan.
The highest evacuation alert — which urges residents to immediately secure safety — was issued to some 130,000 people in Toyohashi, also in Aichi, according to public broadcaster NHK.
Western Wakayama region saw several rivers burst their banks, and NHK footage showed a brown-coloured river in a Wakayama town covering railway tracks.
Two people were missing in Wakayama — one washed away when a road flooded and another swept up by a river, NHK reported.
“We urge residents (in the affected areas) to be extremely vigilant against landslides, flooding and rising and overflowing rivers,” top government spokesman Hirokazu Matsuno told reporters.
“Extremely heavy rainfall with thunderstorms are expected over a wide area from western to eastern Japan over the next three days” due to the storm, which has been downgraded from typhoon status, he added.
Published in Dawn, June 3rd, 2023