Downpours hit Shizuoka Pref. as tropical storm approaches

Shizuoka Prefecture in central Japan is being hit by torrential rain due to an approaching tropical storm. Weather officials are urging residents to be on maximum alert for possible disasters.

The Meteorological Agency says Tropical Storm Talas was 180 kilometers south-southwest of Hamamatsu City in Shizuoka as of 12 a.m. on Saturday. It was moving northeast at a speed of 20 kilometers per hour.

The storm was packing winds of up to about 65 kilometers per hour near its center, with peak gusts of 90 kilometers per hour.

Talas is expected to move eastward, coming close to the Tokai and Kanto-Koshin regions through Saturday night.

The Meteorological Agency has issued information on heavy rainfall for parts of Shizuoka Prefecture, where downpours of more than 100 millimeters per hour have been observed.

The agency has also issued landslide alert information for Shizuoka, Yamanashi and Fukushima Prefectures.

Officials are urging people to stay safe. They say the risk of life-threatening landslides and floods is rising rapidly.

They are calling on people to stay alert for strong winds, high waves and lightning.