Heavy rain causes wide damage in north, central Japan

NHK -- Aug 04

Japan's Meteorological Agency has issued an emergency heavy rain warning for Niigata Prefecture, next to Yamagata Prefecture, where the same warning was issued on Wednesday night. It's a level 5 alert, the highest on the emergency scale.

The heavy rain caused a wide variety of damage in Yamagata Prefecture and other areas.

Police say a bridge collapsed in the town of Iide in Yamagata. A car was reportedly swept away.

Town officials say the collapse damaged water pipes connected to the bridge, leaving hundreds of households without water.

They say emergency water supplies can't reach some residents because many roads are flooded.

Telecom company NTT East says landline phone service was down in some areas in the town. The company believes the heavy rain brought down telephone lines.

A video taken by a viewer shows muddy rainwater flowing like a river across a road.

The town of Kawanishi says it has received reports of landslides and fallen trees blocking roads. A hill behind a house has collapsed. Officials say its residents evacuated.

Local fire officials say multiple buildings in the town were reported to be flooded. They also say people were stranded in their homes, and they were trying to rescue them.

Houses and roads were flooded in other parts of Yamagata, and also in Niigata and Fukushima prefectures.

...continue reading