Record Rain Causes Floods in Western and Central Japan

Flooding has struck in Kyoto, Ishikawa, Gifu and Hyogo prefectures after torrential rain in western and central Japan since Friday 15 August 2014.

At least 3 deaths have been reported in the prefectures of Kyoto, Hyogo and Ishikawa. One man was swept away by flood water from a river in Fukuchiyama city on Sunday 17 August. Other victims died after landslides struck in Ishikawa and Hyogo prefectures. Three people were swept away by floods in Gifu prefecture. They were later rescued by police and emergency workers.

Japan Meteorological Agency say that a record amount of rain fell in Fukuchiyama City, Kyoto prefecture. In a 24 hour period from 16 to 17 August 2014, 303 mm of rain was recorded. Asahi Shimbun says that “hourly precipitation in Fukuchiyama totaled 62 mm”.

Flood water was over 1 metre in some areas of the city and thousands of homes have been inundated. Authorities in the city issued an evacuation advisory to over 80,000 residents on Sunday, which has since been cancelled.

Fukuchiyama floods, August 2014. Photo: matai25toriko79 @ twitter
Fukuchiyama floods, August 2014. Photo: matai25toriko79 @ twitter
Fukuchiyama floods, 17 August 2014. Photo: ohma_makoto @ twitter
Fukuchiyama floods, 17 August 2014. Photo: ohma_makoto @ twitter
Fukuchiyama floods, 17 August 2014. Photo: ohma_makoto @ twitter
Fukuchiyama floods, 17 August 2014. Photo: ohma_makoto @ twitter

Flooding was also severe in Takayama, Gifu Prefecture, where authorities issued evacuation advisories for 24,000 residents.

Rainfall Levels (according to WMO), 24 hours between 16 and 17 August 2014:
  • Maizuru (Kyoto) – 78 mm
  • Tottori (Tottori Prefecture) – 55 mm
  • Kanazawa (Ishikawa) – 72 mm
  • Wajima (Ishikawa) – 55 mm