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Japan issues evacuation advisory after Nagano debris flows

Publication Date : 11-07-2014


An evacuation advisory was issued for more than 670 households after debris flows destroyed or damaged a number of homes in Nagiso, Nagano Prefecture.

Debris flows triggered Wednesday by torrential rain resulting from Typhoon No. 8 destroyed six homes in Nagiso, caused serious damage to eight and partially damaged seven, according to the Nagano prefectural and Nagiso town governments and the Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Ministry.

The debris flows occurred on Nashisawa stream, a tributary that flows into the Kiso River. A large amount of mud overflowed in an about 100-meter-wide area of the tributary about 500 metres from the point where it joins the Kiso River.

A mother and her three children were rescued after being buried by debris in their home, but one of the children, 12-year-old first-year middle school student Kaito Kurenuma, was later confirmed dead. The flows also swept away a steel bridge on the JR Chuo Line and concrete bridges.

According to the town government, an advisory for heavy rain and flooding was issued at 4:19pm Wednesday, and the debris flows occurred at 5:40pm. The ministry monitoring camera installed about 800 metres upstream from the point where the stream joins the Kiso River filmed mud toppling trees and flowing downstream.

A heavy rain and flood warning was issued at 5:45pm. At 5:50pm, the town government issued an evacuation advisory to the 1,645 people belonging to all 673 households in the Midono district near the tributary.

“We issued an evacuation advisory at almost the same time the heavy rain and flood warning was issued,” Nagiso Town Mayor Masamitsu Miyagawa said during a press conference at the town office on Thursday morning. “That was all we could do.”


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