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Death toll climbs to 10 as heavy rains hit typhoon-ravaged eastern Japan

On Friday, landslides ripped through waterlogged areas in Chiba and Fukushima prefectures, in eastern and northeastern Japan, which were inundated by their third rainstorms in six weeks.

FILE: Residents walk past mud and flood-damaged homes in Nagano on 15 October 2019, after Typhoon Hagibis hit Japan on 12 October 2019. Picture: AFP

TOKYO – The death toll from torrential rains that caused flooding and mudslides in eastern Japan reached 10 on Saturday, with three others missing, public broadcaster NHK reported, just two weeks after the region was hit hard by a powerful typhoon.

On Friday, landslides ripped through waterlogged areas in Chiba and Fukushima prefectures, in eastern and northeastern Japan, which were inundated by their third rainstorms in six weeks. In some places, a month’s worth of rain unleashed by a low pressure system fell in half a day.

Evacuation orders and advisories were issued along much of the northern corridor already hit by two typhoons since last month. The city of Ushiku in Chiba received 283.5 mm of rain over 12 hours.

Although the storm had moved away from Japan by Saturday, hundreds of residents were still in evacuation centres and some rail and bus services remained suspended.

The torrential downpour also forced rivers some roads to close and around 4,700 households were still without water in Chiba, the public broadcaster said.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe held a disaster task force meeting on Saturday, calling for the utmost efforts in rescue and relief work, and assessing the damage.

Authorities warned of the chance of further landslides and floods, especially in areas hit by levee breaks that have yet to be repaired after Typhoon Hagibis lashed central and eastern Japan with heavy rains and high winds. That typhoon killed at least 88 people, with seven others still missing and more than 300 injured, according to NHK.

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