Heavy downpour hits Shizuoka Prefecture in central Japan

Japan's Meteorological Agency says Shizuoka Prefecture in central Japan is being hit by a heavy downpour on Friday afternoon. The agency is calling on residents to be on maximum alert for possible disasters.

Weather officials say 118 millimeters of rainfall was recorded in northern Hamamatsu City during the hour until 1 p.m.

Radar analysis showed that about 110 millimeters of rain likely fell in the southern part of the city during the period.

About 120 millimeters of rain is estimated to have fallen around nearby Iwata City during the hour until 1:20 p.m.

Hamamatsu City officials say the Magome River running through the city has flooded near the Yahagi Bridge.

They issued a level 5 alert, the highest on Japan's disaster warning scale, to about 409,000 people of more than 172,000 households near the river.

The officials are urging them to take shelter in the second or higher floors of their homes or nearby taller buildings and avoid places close to hillsides that are prone to landslides.