Hundreds of thousands of residents in Japan were instructed Friday to evacuate their homes due to the passage of Tropical Storm Mawar, which caused heavy rains, especially in the center and west of the country.
The eye of the storm, which was previously classified as a hurricane when it hit strongly at the end of May, the American island of Guam, was Friday in the Pacific Ocean, southwest of Japan.
More than 410,000 people were issued evacuation directives – which are not mandatory – especially on Friday, in Toyota City, Aichi Prefecture, in central Japan.
In the same district, 130,000 people in Toyohashi were called for evacuation, with the highest alert attached, according to public broadcaster NHK.
In Wakayama Prefecture, in western Japan, several rivers overflowed.
Government spokesman Hirokazu Matsuno told reporters, “We urge the residents (in the affected areas) to exercise extreme caution in the face of risks of landslides, floods and rising rivers.”
Suspending trains and canceling flights
“Very heavy rain with thunderstorms is expected over a large part of Japan, from west to east, over the next three days,” he added.
High-speed trains between Tokyo and Osaka have been suspended, JR Central announced on its website.
More than 260 Friday flights were also canceled in the country, according to public television.
According to scientists, global warming increases the risk of heavy rains in Japan, as hot air masses carry more steam.
In July 2021, heavy rain caused a massive landslide in the seaside resort of Atami (southwest of Tokyo) that left 27 dead.
Major floods in Kyushu (southwest Japan) killed more than 80 people in 2020. Two years earlier, the archipelago witnessed the worst floods in decades, during which more than 200 people were killed in the west of the country.