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Officials urge caution as Tokyo faces heavy rain

Heavy rain was lashing the greater Tokyo area on Tuesday, with the Meteorological Agency warning of the risk of floods and landslides.

Warm and humid air driven by a low-pressure system has destabilized the atmosphere, resulting in intense rainfall in some areas and potentially leading to instances of flooded roads, according to the Japan Weather Association, a private weather forecasting outlet.

In the 24 hours through Wednesday morning, substantial rainfall totals are projected, with up to 200 millimeters possible in the southern Kanto region, 150 millimeters in Yamanashi and Nagano prefectures, and 120 millimeters in northern Kanto and the Izu Islands.

The low-pressure system is anticipated to further develop as it moves eastward, potentially bringing hourly rainfall rates of up to 40 millimeters an hour, accompanied by thunderstorms in localized areas across the greater Tokyo area.

Tuesday’s rainfall has substantially lowered temperatures in the area. Compared to midday highs exceeding 30 degrees Celsius in many areas on Monday, temperatures are expected to top out at 19 degrees in Tokyo and 21 degrees in Yokohama, figures normally seen in late April.

East Japan Railway has advised commuters to prepare for possible disruptions through Tuesday evening, with services between Odawara and Atami stations on the Tokaido Line set to be suspended from 2 p.m. The Ito Line between Atami and Ito stations in Shizuoka Prefecture has already been suspended.

In light of the forecast, the Meteorological Agency has urged vigilance against potential hazards including landslides, flooding in low-lying areas, river swelling, lightning strikes, tornadoes and hail.

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