Rain forces evacuation order for almost 200,000 in Niigata, Fukushima

07/30/2011
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TOKYO (majirox news) — An evacuation order was issued July 29 to 200,000 people as heavy rains reaching up to 600 milliliters (23 inches) dumped on Niigata and Fukushima prefectures, Meteorological Agency officials said.

Agency officials issued a warning of floods and landslides as it ordered 191,000 residents of hardest-hit Niigata prefecture and a further 4,990 Fukushima prefecture inhabitants to flee their homes.

Three people have already been reported missing in the rains that began early Friday afternoon and continued virtually unabated, topping 120 milliliters (4 inches) an hour at times.

The affected area was badly damaged by heavy rains in 2004 that resulted in floods and landslides and the agency warned residents to expect similar outcomes.

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