The Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) warned Friday that heavy rain is expected to hit over the weekend, as Japan continues to grapple in the wake of Typhoon Hagibis battering the country a week earlier and causing extensive flooding.
As recovery efforts continue, regions across Japan are once again bracing for further downpours, with officials warning that even light rain could trigger landslides and flooding in areas hardest hit by last week’s typhoon, Xinhua news agency reported.
The weather agency said that up to 120 mm of rain was expected in Shizuoka Prefecture where the typhoon made landfall last weekend in the 24 hour period through Saturday morning, and 100 mm in the Kanto-Koshin region, which spans Tokyo.
In the already hard-hit northeastern region of Tohoku, the JMA said 50 mm of rain is expected.
According to local media, some cities and towns at risk of flooding from rivers have already started issuing evacuation advisories, with health officials warning the 4,000 people still displaced in evacuation centres to be cautious of outbreaks of influenza as seasonal temperatures drop.
Japan’s public broadcaster NHK said on Friday evening that rescuers are still searching for eight people, with the death toll now standing at 79.
Hagibis left 2,400 homes partially or completely destroyed, with the government saying Friday that at least 25,000 hectares on the main island of Honshu have been inundated due to the record rainfall caused by the most powerful typhoon hitting the nation in decades.
The government has already allocated 710 million yen (US$6.5 million) in reserve funds to finance relief efforts and is planning to designate Typhoon Hagibis as a severe natural disaster so that more funds can be dispatched for relief and restoration efforts.