Japan – Thousands Ordered to Evacuate After Record Rainfall Triggers Floods and Mudslides

Authorities issued evacuation orders to over 300,000 people in northern and central Japan after heavy rain caused flooding and mudslides.

As of 04 August 2022, evacuation orders were in place for residents in Aomori, Iwate, Yamagata, Fukushima, Niigata, Ishikawa and Fukui prefectures. Disaster authorities reported dozens of homes have been damaged in the prefectures of Aomori, Iwate, Akita and Fukushima.

Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Matsuno Hirokazu said in a statement of 04 August that houses were also damaged in Yamagata and Niigata prefectures. A bridge in Iide, Yamagata was destroyed and witnesses said a car that was on the bridge at the time was swept away. Roads were flooded and bridges damaged in Sekikawa, Niigata Prefecture. Sekikawa recorded 414.5 mm of rain in 24 hours to 04 August, beating the previous daily record high of 212.0 mm set in July 2014.

Disaster authorities reported one person was missing in Ichinohe in Iwate Prefecture. The Chief Cabinet Secretary said there were several other reports of missing people.

Flood waters damaged homes and roads in Kitashiobara, Fukushima, leaving residents isolated. Kitashiobara recorded 260 mm of rain in 24 hours on 03 August.

Two people were rescued from a vehicle that was caught in a landslide in the city of Murakami, Niigata Prefecture, while firefighters rescued several people trapped in flood waters in other areas of the city. The city of Murakami recorded 395.5 mm of rain in 24 hours on 03 August, beating the previous daily highest total of 290 mm set in 2005.

The Kakegawa River was above danger levels in Komatsu city in Ishikawa Prefecture, standing at 5.9 metres on 03 August, well above the danger mark of 4.6 metres. The Kuise River at Akasaka-cho, Ogaki in Gifu Prefecture, reached 2.67 metres on 04 August, above the danger mark of 2.5 metres.

Featured image. Previous flooding in Japan, for illustration purposes only.