A powerful typhoon that battered central Japan forced tens of thousands to flee their homes and left at least three people dead.
Officials said they have asked around 400,000 residents from Kyoto, Shiga, Hyogo and Mie prefectures to leave their homes, reported Kyodo news agency.
The heavy downpour disrupted flights and suspended bullet trains services as typhoon Man-yi made landfall Monday.
Japan experienced “an unprecendented amount of rainfall” in Kyoto, Fukui and Shiga. As much as eight centimeters (three inches) per hour of rainfall was recorded, according to the Japan Meteorological Agency.
Torrential rains and winds damaged homes and flooded parts of the popular tourist destination of Kyoto.
The city’s major Katsura River spilled over its banks, forcing 260,000 people to evacuate.
Tourists in Kyoto were taken to safety on boats towed by rescue workers on a flooded street near the usually scenic Arashiyama area.
Fatalities include two women who were killed in landslides in Shiga and Fukui prefectures, and a man in Kitakami, Iwate prefecture, who died of injuries after falling from a ladder.
Dozens of people across the country were injured due to the typhoon, according to public broadcaster NHK.
A man was missing after he went to check fish traps in a river in Fukushima prefecture. A 41-year-old woman and her daughter were missing in Mie.
Trains in Tokyo and its vicinity were suspended as the eye of the storm was expected to pass near the capital, reports said.
Members of the Self-Defense Forces were mobilized for rescue and relief efforts.
Meanwhile, Tokyo Electric Power Co said untainted rainwater was being pumped away from storage tanks at the Fukushima nuclear plant and released to the ocean to reduce flooding risks that could send radioactive water into the sea.
By: Maesie Bertumen
Image of damage caused by Typhoon Talas in 2011: saldesalsal/Flickr