One dead, 20,000 evacuated as tropical storm Nanmadol batters western Japan

TOKYO, July 5 (Bernama) – One person died after been swept away by a river swollen by torrential rains brought on by tropical storm Nanmadol and thousands ordered to evacuate as the storm dumped heavy rain along the western coast of Japan on Wednesday, China’s Xinhua news agency reported.

According to local media reports, the body of a man was recovered from a river in Hiroshima City on Wednesday morning, with local police believing he was swept away by fast flowing waters after a river become inundated by heavy rain.

The Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) issued emergency heavy rain warning and advisories to the residents of Shimane, a coastal prefecture in the western part of Japan’s Honshu Island, and to neighboring prefectures.

The weather agency said a record level of hourly rainfall at 82 millimeters was registered in Hamada City in the west of Shimane Prefecture and said that in the past 24 hours rainfall had exceeded 350 millimeters in some parts of the city.

The agency earlier Wednesday warned residents in Shimane that they were at risk of “severe disasters that happen only once in several decades” and urged people to evacuate to shelters or stay on the higher floors of their houses and buildings if evacuation was not an option.

The local government in Shimane, meanwhile, also urged residents to evacuate and issued a warning to 20,000 residents spanning some 9,200 households, local media reported.

Heavy rain also battered neighboring Hiroshima and Yamaguchi Prefectures, with rainfall logged at exceeding 300 millimeters in the past 24 hours, according to the JMA.

While local TV stations beamed pictures of severely flooded rivers and roads and landslides across the nation Wednesday, the JMA said that the situation was improving.  –Bernama