Throughout western and central Japan, rains are terrorizing entire villages and triggering deadly landslides. At least four people have already died, and authorities ordered another roughly 210,000 people to evacuate their homes as of Friday. Another two million people are being advised to follow suit.
Pacific typhoon season has begun, and it’s bringing “historic” rainfall to this part of the island nation, reports Reuters. The Weather Network connects the recent spate of intense rainfall, in part, to Typhoon Prapiroon, which churned through in the Sea of Japan earlier this week. These rains are set to continue through Sunday—and with them, potentially even more landslides. Meanwhile, another storm, Typhoon Maria, is now a Category 4-equivalent super typhoon, potentially endangering Okinawa and China next week.
The entire country is essentially in some type of advisory state with the regions of Nambu and Hokubu seeing emergency warnings. Many other regions are on evacuation advisory. The landslide risk is real, too, with Japanese communities from the west to more central regions up north seeing the highest risk. Already, authorities have had to rush to rescue people buried in landslides, per Reuters.
The deaths have been tragic: A 59-year-old man was sucked into a drainage pipe while a fatal gust of wind knocked down an elderly woman.
Typhoon season is always scary for Japan. Last year, floods killed at least 30 people in the South. What sucks most is that these events won’t end and they won’t get better. Not with the way we’re warming the planet. Climate change could very well intensify the typhoons that lead to these sort of rains, per Japan’s Central Environmental Council.
We’re all in for a rude awakening.