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Two people are missing after bridges collapsed and rivers burst their banks as heavy rain lashed northern Japan.
TV footage showed a muddy mass of broken trees swept into a mountainous residential area by the downpours, which broke records in some areas.
More than 200,000 residents were urged to evacuate as authorities warned of dangerous flooding and two people have been reported missing, top government spokesman Hirokazu Matsuno told reporters.
Authorities have warned of an increased risk of landslides and floods. Public broadcaster NHK said non-compulsory evacuation advisories were issued to 200,000 residents in five regions: Niigata, Yamagata, Fukushima, Ishikawa and Fukui.
TV footage showed homes flooded by an overflowing river and another muddy waterway reaching the height of a bridge.
During a news conference on Thursday morning, Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno said that around 1,900 households have lost power, while 380 households were experiencing breaks in the water supply.
Flooding in the prefectures of Ishikawa, Fukushima, Niigata - roads and houses are flooded due to heavy rain, some rivers overflowed their banks, residents were evacuated. Japan#flood #flooding #floods #flashflood #HeavyRains pic.twitter.com/MH8O9TvILm
— BRAVE SPIRIT (@Brave_spirit81) August 4, 2022
A district in the city of Murakami was isolated after a landslide blocked the road leading into the area.
“The district has been isolated and there has been a power outage and water supply has been cut off,” said Saichi Matsumoto, 69, who heads the district.
“We’ve asked the city office to provide relief supplies, including water and food.”
Scientists say climate change is intensifying the risk of heavy rain in Japan and elsewhere because a warmer atmosphere holds more water.
Strong rain in 2021 triggered a devastating landslide in the central resort town of Atami that killed 27 people.
And in 2018, floods and landslides killed more than 200 people in western Japan during the country’s annual rainy season.