Flooding, mudslides hit northern Japan after heavy rainfall

TOKYO (AP) — Heavy rain poured over northern Japan yesterday, flooding residential areas and prompting warnings of mudslides.

The Mogami River in Yamagata prefecture flooded four areas following an overnight downpour, leaving several towns inundated, chief government spokesman Yoshihide Suga said. Another river overflowed its banks in nearby Akita prefecture, he said.

Suga told reporters no deaths have been confirmed. But he warned people should evacuate from risky areas. A mudslide has isolated an area with more than 500 people, he added. TV footage showed rescuers paddling rubber boats in residential areas, looking for stranded people, and groups of homes in a sprawling lake of muddy water.

The Yamagata Shinkansen bullet train temporarily stopped running, and some highways were blocked off. Heavy rainfall was experienced throughout yesterday including in some areas near Tokyo. The southwestern area of Kyushu was hit with heavy rain earlier this week.

A residential area is flooded following a heavy rain in Okura village, Yamagata prefecture, northern Japan Wednesday, July 29, 2020. (Kyodo News via AP)