Tokyo (The Japan News/ANN) — Powerful Typhoon No. 19 barreled north through the Kanto region, leaving behind record-setting rainfall in some areas and widespread damage from flooding, most notably from the overflowing of the Chikuma River in Nagano Prefecture on Saturday evening.
Embankments along 21 rivers were breached and about 140 rivers flooded nationwide as of 6 p.m. Sunday.
The typhoon, which made landfall on the Izu Peninsula in Shizuoka Prefecture at about 7 p.m. Saturday, led to evacuation orders and advisories being issued to more than 10 million people, mainly in the Tokyo metropolitan area.
The Japan Meteorological Agency held an emergency press conference Saturday, urging citizens to “take action to protect their lives.”
The agency said that in the 48-hour span up to 3 p.m. on Sunday, record rainfall was recorded in Hakone, Kanagawa Prefecture, and Izu, Shizuoka Prefecture, which were drenched with 1,001 mm and 760 mm, respectively.
Strong winds pounded the area, with a maximum wind speed of 41.5 meters per second recorded at 9:14 p.m. on Saturday in Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo.
In response to flooding of the Tama River, the Tokyo metropolitan government requested the Self-Defense Forces be dispatched for disaster relief on Saturday evening.
Floodwaters Reach Homes
A dike on a bank of the Chikuma River in Nagano was breached by Typhoon No. 19’s torrential rain, allowing floodwater to flow into residential areas, a local branch of the Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Ministry said Sunday.
According to the ministry’s Hokuriku Regional Development Bureau, the dike burst in the city’s Hoyasu district. In Nagano, there are reports that the flood reached the second floor of residential buildings.
The floodwater reached National Highway Route 18, which is about 100 meters from the riverbank, according to the Nagano national highway office. Roads around the area are closed.
The rescue of affected residents by firefighters and the Ground Self-Defense Force is underway. According to the Nagano city government, residents of facilities for the elderly, including a special nursing care home and a group home, in the Hoyasu district are stranded.
East Japan Railway Co. (JR East) said Sunday that its Shinkansen train depot in Nagano was breached after the dike of the Chikuma River burst.
The company said it has heard that train cars of the Hokuriku Shinkansen line were inundated by floodwaters.
As an evacuation order has been issued in the district, JR East officials were unable to approach the train depot center. Thus, there is no way to specifically assess the situation.
Services on the Hokuriku Shinkansen line were scheduled to resume around noon Sunday, but JR East said it had yet to be decided when that would take effect.
About 80 households in Kagamiishi, Fukushima Prefecture, have been isolated due to floodwater from the Abukuma River since around 1 a.m. Sunday, according to the Fukushima prefectural government and the Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Ministry’s Fukushima Office of River and National Highway.
Areas inundated in the town include the Narita district.
According to the town government, members of the Sukagawa Fire Department used boats to conduct rescue operations for the affected residents in the isolated households.
Along the Abukuma River, flooding also occurred in the following Fukushima Prefecture cities: at two sites in Koriyama and one each in Sukagawa, Motomiya and Date.
At Least 26 Killed
According to a Yomiuri Shimbun tally, as of 5 p.m. on Sunday, Typhoon No. 19 had claimed the lives of 26 people in Tochigi, Gunma, Kanagawa, Iwate, Miyagi, Fukushima, Saitama, Chiba and other prefectures, with 19 people missing.
In Tomioka, Gunma Prefecture, a landslide behind a residential area killed one man, and left two others missing.
In Ichihara, Chiba Prefecture, a 50-year-old man was killed when the vehicle he was riding in was blown over by a sudden gust of wind.
In Sagamihara, a woman was found in cardiac arrest in a building that had collapsed due to a landslide early on Sunday and was later confirmed to have died, according to the Sagamihara Fire Bureau.
In Tomi, Nagano Prefecture, a road near the Chikuma River collapsed, taking three vehicles with it. Three people from two of the vehicles were rescued, but three people in the other vehicle that was swept away have yet to be found, according to the city government.
In Nihonmatsu, Fukushima Prefecture, two people were reported missing following a landslide. In Gotenba, Shizuoka Prefecture, two men were swept away in an irrigation channel and one is still missing.
By News Desk