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Heavy rain forecast for Japan as repair work from typhoon continues

18 October 2019 15:40

TOKYO. KAZINFORM Japan's weather agency warned Friday of a secondary disaster in wide areas of the country already flooded by Typhoon Hagibis, as heavy downpours were forecast to hit over the weekend while recovery efforts continue.

In the 24 hours to 6 a.m. Saturday, rainfall of up to 120 millimeters was expected in Shizuoka Prefecture, where the deadly typhoon made landfall last weekend, 100 mm in the Kanto-Koshin region covering Tokyo and 50 mm in the northeastern Japan region of Tohoku, according to the Japan Meteorological Agency.

The agency warned even small amounts of rain can raise the risk of flooding and mudslides in the affected areas, and urged people to remain on the alert, Kyodo News reports.

The typhoon claimed the lives of at least 78 people, left some 2,400 homes partially or completely destroyed and inundated at least 25,000 hectares on the country's main island of Honshu, according to government data.

The infrastructure ministry said it expects to finish by Monday the emergency repair work on collapsed embankments at 12 locations along seven rivers.

The work involves placing concrete blocks on the embankments and piling soil over them, as well as using sandbags and tarps, to enhance their strength and durability.

The ministry aims to fully rebuild the embankments by around June next year after local bureaus set up panels of experts to review construction methods.

The flooding along the Chikuma River in Nagano inundated 10 shinkansen bullet trains involving 120 cars at East Japan Railway Co.'s railyard in the city.

The train operator said it is expecting to resume services along its entire Hokuriku Shinkansen line between Tokyo and Kanazawa stations from Oct. 25, although they will be operating at about 80 percent of the pre-typhoon level.

The swamped trains could be scrapped as the company has confirmed serious damage to the electrical system beneath the flooring, it said.

The flooding has also caused significant damage to the country's agriculture sector. The farm ministry said the damage is estimated at 38.28 billion yen ($352 million) as of Friday morning, up from Thursday's estimate of 24.92 billion yen.

The figure is expected to increase as there are areas that have yet to be included in the count, it said.