Heavy rain floods areas of Japan recovering from typhoons

NARITA, Japan (AP) — Torrential rain caused flooding and mudslides Friday in towns east of Tokyo, prompting concerns over new damage in areas still recovering from recent typhoons.

Muddy waters spilled from a river in Chiba, southeast of Tokyo, where pedestrians waded through waist-deep floods. A highway toll gate near Narita International Airport was temporarily closed for safety. A supermarket in Narita City was flooded, and store staff used mops to remove the water.

A mudslide crushed a house in Midori district in Chiba and one of its three residents was rescued unconscious. Rescuers were searching for the other two. Mudslides also hit two homes in nearby cities, but residents were all safely rescued, Chiba disaster management officials said.

Heavy rain also washed out the second round of the PGA Tour's first tournament held in Japan, the Zozo Championship in Inzai City, where Tiger Woods was tied with Gary Woodland at 64 after Thursday's opening round.

The Meteorological Agency on Friday morning predicted up to 180 millimeters (7 inches) of rain over the next 24 hours. NHK public television said the average rainfall for the entire month had fallen in just a half day Friday. The downpour was coming from a low-pressure system hovering above Japan's main island of Honshu that headed north later Friday.

More than 9,000 homes, including 6,000 in Chiba prefecture and 2,500 in nearby Ibaraki prefecture, were without electricity, according to Tokyo Electric Power Co.

Chiba city issued an evacuation advisory to residents of several districts because of a growing risk of flooding or mudslides. Strong rain also fell in Tokyo but subsided by late Friday.

Local media reported two dams were expected to release built-up water and urged downstream residents to evacuate as a precaution.

Many areas in Chiba are still recovering from damage from a typhoon last month and another earlier this month. Typhoon Hagibis this month caused widespread flooding farther north and left more than 80 people dead or presumed dead across Japan.

Residents of central and northern Japan, including Nagano and Fukushima, which were among the worst hit by Hagibis, were also urged to take precautions.


Associated Press writer Mari Yamaguchi in Tokyo contributed to this report.

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