Two people died and at least 35 people were injured after heavy rain pounded wide areas of Japan, local authorities said Saturday, with landslides and river flooding occurring in many parts in the country's east.
Thunderstorms were observed developing in succession from Friday through Saturday morning in western and central areas, with 23 locations in eight prefectures seeing record levels of 24-hour rainfall, according to the Japan Meteorological Agency.
The severe weather conditions were caused by warm and moist air blowing from Typhoon Mawar and a rain front near Japan's main island of Honshu.
The typhoon was downgraded to an extratropical cyclone at around 3 p.m. Saturday after moving to the Izu island chain south of Tokyo, the agency said.
Rising rivers prompted some local governments, such as Toyohashi in Aichi Prefecture, to issue the most severe flood warning to residents, calling on them to immediately move to safer ground.
In Toyohashi, a 61-year-old man was pronounced dead early Saturday after being found inside a car in a flooded field Friday night, police said, adding that the vehicle was nearly completely submerged.
A man fishing in Moka, Tochigi Prefecture, also died after being swept into an irrigation channel.
At least five people went missing, while 232 houses were completely or partially destroyed, the authorities said.
At least 2 million people were temporarily advised to evacuate in Gifu, Shizuoka, Aichi and Mie prefectures.
In part of the Shizuoka Prefecture city of Hamamatsu, 497.5 millimeters of rainfall was recorded, while 419 mm fell in Toyohashi in 24 hours through Saturday morning, the agency said.
In the Kanto region centering on Tokyo, 47.5 mm of rainfall was observed in an hour in Funabashi, Chiba Prefecture, and 45 mm in Nerima Ward, Tokyo, on Saturday morning.
Central Japan Railway Co. resumed all bullet train services between Tokyo and Osaka around noon, after suspensions caused by the rain.
Services on the Tokaido Shinkansen line had been suspended on the section between Tokyo and Nagoya in Aichi Prefecture. Trains between Nagoya and Shin-Osaka stations were running about once an hour until around noon.
The company made trains available for stranded passengers Friday at Tokyo, Nagoya and Shin-Osaka stations. Some 5,300 people spent the night sheltering in the cars, it said.
Passengers who were forced to spend the night at a station or in a train looked exhausted after the experience.
"About 80 percent of the seats were occupied," Kengo Kaku, 46, from Okayama Prefecture said after spending the night in a bullet train at Tokyo station. "I could recline my seat only slightly. I didn't get good sleep."
Nagoya Station remained congested, even on Saturday night, as stranded passengers checked the operational status of trains on an electronic signboard.