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Flooding hits Yamagata Pref. after heavy rain in northern Japan

Housing in the village of Okura, Yamagata Prefecture, that was flooded after the Mogami River overflowed is seen on July 29, 2020, in this image taken from a Mainichi Shimbun aircraft. (Mainichi/Yuki Miyatake)

YAMAGATA -- Heavy rain prompted by a seasonal rain front and low-pressure system hit parts of northern Japan overnight from July 28, causing the Mogami River in Yamagata Prefecture to flood and damage nearby residences.

    Heavy rain and flood warnings have been continuously issued in wide areas of the prefecture, though the prefectural government has not confirmed any fatalities or missing persons.

    Flooding occurred in the Yokoyama, Oishida, and Toyoda districts in the town of Oishida, and the Shirasuka region in the village of Okura, according to the Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Ministry's Shinjo office. The Yamagata Prefectural Government is rushing to grasp the full state of damage.

    Many locations in Yamagata Prefecture were hit with extremely heavy rain with around 150 millimeters falling within 24 hours until before dawn on July 29. The city of Nagai located near the upper reaches of the Mogami River recorded 205 millimeters of rain, though it had mostly eased by the morning of July 29.

    According to the East Japan Railway Co.'s Sendai branch, it is unclear when bullet train service will resume for the section between Yamagata and Shinjo stations on the Yamagata Shinkansen Line. The section between Yamagata and Fukushima stations is scheduled to resume service around midday on July 29.

    The cities of Hanamaki and Oshu in the northern Japan prefecture of Iwate have also experienced flooding damage above floor level at some houses. At least 17 residences had suffered damage as of the morning of July 29, according to the prefectural government there.

    A woman in her 90s living in the city of Sakata, Yamagata Prefecture, suffered a fractured bone in her right knee after falling down while evacuating from her house at around 9 p.m. on July 28, according to the Yamagata Prefectural Government.

    (Japanese original by Nanami Hidaka and Genta Fujimura, Yamagata Bureau)

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