Western, central Japan brace for torrential rainfall

Regions in western and central Japan are bracing for torrential downpours as bands of rainclouds may form through late Tuesday.

Japan's Meteorological Agency says warm, moist air around a high-pressure system and from a typhoon is flowing in toward a low-pressure system accompanied by a front. This could bring heavy rain mainly in the western part of the country.

The agency warns that there are some parts in Tokushima and Wakayama prefectures that face high risks of landslides due to torrential rain.

The low-pressure system accompanying a front is expected to develop as it moves eastward over the Pacific.

Localized thunderstorms were forecast for Okinawa Prefecture, the Amami region of Kagoshima Prefecture and other parts of western Japan on Tuesday, and in eastern and northeastern Japan through Wednesday.

Meteorological officials are warning of the risk of disasters in Kochi and Tokushima prefectures on the western island of Shikoku, and in the central prefectures of Aichi, Gifu and Shizuoka, as bands of rainclouds may bring torrential rain.

The Pacific coast of central Japan could see up to 300 millimeters of rain over a 24-hour period through Wednesday noon.

The Kanto Koshin region, which includes Tokyo, could experience up to 200 millimeters of rain, while forecasts for other regions are 100 to 150 millimeters.

Weather officials are urging people to stay on the alert for landslides, flooding in low-lying areas and swollen rivers. They are also warning about lightning strikes, sudden gusts of wind and hailstorms, and are asking people to take shelter when thunderclouds are approaching.

Meanwhile, Typhoon Ewiniar continues to develop as it moves northeastward over waters to the east of the Philippines.

It is expected to speed up and approach Okinawa's Daitojima region by late Wednesday afternoon.