The What: Tropical storm Etau came ashore on Japan, leading to rainfall and swollen rivers
The Where: Joso, Japan, a city north of Tokyo
The When: Began September 9, 2015
Typhoon Etau met the shore of Honshu, Japan’s main island, on September 9th, bringing heavy rainfall and flooding. As water levels rose, rivers became increasingly turgid and embankments north of Tokyo, along the Kinugawa River, broke. Joso, which lies along the Kinugawa River, was severely flooded, and some regions in the area have been swamped by over 60 centimeters of rain. In parts of the Tochigi Prefecture, 24 hours brought over 50 centimeters of rain. Seven civilians were killed due to the flooding, and about 3,000 were still huddled in evacuation shelters as of September 14th. Joso suffered severe water and power supply damages, and mudslide risks remained a worry for people living in that area. Bags containing waste from the nuclear power plant accident at Fukushima Daiichi in 2011 were damaged by floodwaters and the contents were leaked, but Japanese authorities say that the contents of the bags pose a minimal environmental risk. Despite the destruction and tragedy across the region, however, the 15 people reported missing in the floods have since been found alive and safe.