Heavy rains from Tropical Storm Etau have been drenching the Kanto area since late morning, and are expected to continue well into the night.
Also known as Typhoon No. 18 (although it has been downgraded to a tropical storm), Etau made landfall in Aichi Prefecture around 10 am, according to NHK World News. The storm has been traveling at a speed of about 40 km/hr. Areas around northeastern Japan have been slammed with heavy rain. Nikko, in Tochigi Prefecture, recorded 85 mm of rain in one hour this afternoon, while Koga City in Ibaraki logged 38 mm in one hour and Sagamihara in Kanagawa soaked up 36 mm. As reported by NHK, since the storms began on September 7, many cities around Kanto have recorded 200 to 300 millimeters of rain.
Landslide warnings have been announced for many locations around Kanto, including those in the prefectures of Nagano, Gunma, Tochigi, Saitama, Kanagawa, Yamagata, and in the Tokyo Metropolitan area. Flood warnings are in place for communities located nearby rivers around Kanto as well.
Precipitation is expected to continue through the night, with some areas expected to receive more than 50 mm per hour. Evacuation advisory orders have been made to more than 550,000 people around the region, and operation on several train lines in the area have been suspended.
Status for JR East Lines can be found here: http://traininfo.jreast.co.jp/train_info/e/kanto.aspx
You can check up on the Japan Meteorological Agency’s weather warnings here: www.jma.go.jp/en/warn/index.html
Image: Heavy rains swelling the Kinu River in Nikko, Tochigi – NHK