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Man dies after truck submerged in underpass amid record rainfall in Mie Pref.

The truck from which a man believed to be its driver was found dead after it was temporarily submerged in an underpass during heavy rains is seen in Inabe, Mie Prefecture, on Sept. 5, 2019. (Mainichi/Noriyoshi Matsumoto)

INABE, Mie -- A man believed to be the driver of a truck submerged in a flooded underpass was found dead after record rainfall fell in large concentrations on the northern part of Mie Prefecture, central Japan, over the afternoon of Sept. 4 to the morning of Sept. 5.

Fire department headquarters at Kuwana, also in Mie Prefecture, reported that a passerby discovered the truck submerged on a road running below the Sangi Railway Co.'s Sangi Line at around 8:30 a.m. on Sept. 5. Attempts were made to rescue a man believed to be the driver, who appears to be in his 40s or 50s, from the inside of the vehicle, but he was confirmed dead.

According to the prefectural government, 34 people in 19 households across four municipalities have been evacuated as of 9 a.m. on Sept. 5.

Towns and cities across the prefecture experienced huge rainfall. The Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) said the city of Yokkaichi saw torrential downpours of 121 millimeters in an hour observed up to 12:50 a.m. on Sept. 5, prompting the JMA to issue an advisory on a record-breaking deluge over a short period. On the same day in the city of Toba, 79 millimeters of rain fell in the hour ending at 6:50 a.m.

The Sagoshi River which runs through Toin overflowed, causing the authorities to issue a level 5 disaster warning for some parts of the town. In its Nakagami district, roads in residential areas flooded, with the water rising up to nearby parked cars' headlights.

The Tsu local meteorological observatory said it expected unstable atmospheric conditions to continue until around midday on Sept. 5, and called for residents to remain vigilant against water level rises in rivers and potential landslides.

(Japanese original by Ayaka Morita, Tsu Bureau)

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