Date: Sunday, July 31, 2011 01:07 +0900 (JST)
Torrential rain has caused rivers to overflow in Niigata and Fukushima prefectures in northern Japan.
About 207,000 people in 15 municipalities of the 2 prefectures are taking shelter, as of 8 PM on Saturday, following authorities' evacuation orders or advisories.
At least 3,000 houses have been flooded in the prefectures.
In Niigata's Sanjo City, more than 10,000 people were ordered to evacuate after a dike collapsed.
2 men in Niigata Prefecture was found dead. 4 people are missing in the region.
NHK's aerial footage shows a destroyed bridge of East Japan Railway's Tadami Line, which connects Fukushima and Niigata prefectures. Only the bridge's columns can be seen in the overflowing river.
680 millimeters of rain has been recorded in Fukushima's Tadami Town in the 72 hours since Wednesday, while more than 620 millimeters fell on Kamo City, Niigata. Sanjo City in Niigata has gotten more than 1,000 millimeters.
These points have recorded more than double the amount of rain it gets in an average July in just 3 days.
The rain has been gradually easing, but some parts of northern Japan are still seeing showers.
The Meteorological Agency says the amount of rainfall in the 2 prefectures has exceeded a downpour 7 years ago that killed 16 people there.