Northeastern Japan pounded by heavy rain

NHK -- Jul 16

People in northeastern Japan are dealing with a record amount of rainfall. Weather officials are urging them to stay on the alert for flooding and landslides.

Japan Meteorological Agency officials say Akita Prefecture and other parts of the Tohoku region along the Sea of Japan coast are being deluged with rain on Saturday.

Oga City and the town of Happo were hit with about 190 millimeters of precipitation in a 12-hour period. That is more than the average for the entire month of July.

Landslide alerts have been issued for parts of Akita, Aomori and Iwate prefectures. Extensive damage has been reported and traffic has been disrupted in some areas.

Akita officials say several rivers including the Taihei have breached their banks. Evacuation orders have been issued for some areas.

East Japan Railway says the Akita Shinkansen train service connecting Tokyo, Iwate and Akita prefectures has been suspended. Local rail services have also been stopped in parts of the Tohoku region.

Weather officials warn that rain clouds will remain over Tohoku through Sunday, and could bring more downpours. Authorities are calling on people to stay in a safe place as the dangers could intensify.