Torrential rains flood streets of northeastern Japan

STORY: Television footage showed innundated roads and partially submerged houses in Yamagata prefecture.

A river had burst its banks in Niigata prefecture, where more than 500 mm (19 inches) of rain had fallen in one part in the 24 hours to 1:00 p.m. (0400 GMT), NHK public television said, prompting authorities to issue the highest possible level of disaster warnings in some areas.

At least three people were reported missing. Roughly 500,000 people were ordered to evacuate in Niigata, Ishikawa and Yamagata prefectures, the Fire and Disaster Management Agency said, but there were no immediate reports of fatalities.

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