Source AP ©

About 50,000 ordered to evacuate due to mudslides and floods in central Japan

Heavy rain caused floods and mudslides in central Japan on Monday, prompting orders to evacuate more than 50,000 people, officials said. One man was seriously injured when his car was buried by falling earth.

The downpour overflowed the banks of the Asano River, sending brown water gushing into the city of Kanazawa, flooding houses and leading authorities to issue the evacuation order, said Hiroyuki Tatsuda, spokesman for Kanazawa, about 180 miles (300 kilometers) northwest of Tokyo.

"We were inundated just in a couple hours this morning," Tatsuda said. "We haven't had such heavy rain for years."

The city lifted the evacuation order by midmorning Monday after the rain subsided, Tatsuda said. More than 800 people had taken refuge at community centers. City officials were still assessing the extent of damage to houses and buildings.

The flooding also temporarily left 500 households without electricity and caused train delays.

Heavy rain also fell in nearby Toyama prefecture (state), where a 53-year-old man was seriously injured after being covered by a mudslide while driving near a tunnel, local police official Shinichi Tomiya said. The man suffered a broken leg, arm, rib and shoulder but was conscious when he was later dug from the mud and taken to a nearby hospital.

More than 4 inches (100 millimeters) of rain fell in the region, the nation's weather agency said.

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