Japan asks 1.2 million to evacuate ahead of Typhoon Roke

September 20, 2011

Japan on Tuesday urged the evacuation of more than 1.2 million people ahead of a typhoon that will bring heavy rain to areas already hit by record rainfall.

Typhoon Roke has prompted concerns of landslides and flash flooding, particularly in the industrial city of Nagoya, where downpours could cause a main river to burst its banks.

The typhoon, with sustained winds of 89 miles per hour, is due to make landfall on Wednesday, moving from the southwest to the northeast. The typhoon is expected to cause the greatest problems for western and central areas that were already hit earlier this month by Typhoon Talas, which killed at least 67 people and left dozens more missing.

The weather agency said that parts of Japan could receive as much as two inches or rain per hour. Authorities are particularly concerned that rain from Roke will cause the collapse of mud dams that formed in the aftermath of Talas, which would cause downstream flooding.

Evacuation orders were not compulsory, but emergency workers in Nagoya on Tuesday scrambled to prepare shelters for those who live on flood-prone land.

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