Everything You Need to Know About Heavy Rains in Japan

Always best to be prepared.

In Japan, the rainy season is usually in June and transitions to the typhoon season in September. However, these days, there are more and more risks of heavy rains from June through September. In July 2018, the western part of Japan experienced serious damage due to the heavy rain. Heavy rain itself is not so dangerous, but it can trigger the major disasters such as flooding and landslides.

Flood: near rivers, low lands, basements, and underpasses

Landslide: near mountain stream, and steep slope area

To help you be better prepared in case of heavy rains while you are in Japan, we’ve put together a list of important reminders you can keep in mind and follow. Read on below.

What to Do Before the Heavy Rain and What to Prepare for Evacuation

  • Close the windows and shutters completely. Do reinforcement if necessary.
  • Put glass protective films on the windows from inside. Close the curtains.
  • Clean street gutters and drains so that the rain flows smoothly and won’t cause flooding.
  • Check the emergency essentials.

  • Keep drinking water in reusable bottles and fill your bathtub with water in case of water outage.

  • Check the designated emergency evacuation sites and review the route going there.


Levels of Danger and its Meaning of Warnings and Advisory from Japan Meteorological Agency

There are 5 levels of warning you might announced in the news. Here, it is listed from low to high level of warning.

1. 警報級の可能性 
keihoukyu no kanousei

Be aware of the possibility of heavy rain and disaster.
There is also the classification of high or middle. If high, it often becomes level 2 or more within a day.

2. 注意報 

Pay attention to the weather reports and check the hazard map and start preparation for evacuation.

3. 警報に切り替える可能性が高い注意報 
keihou ni kirikaeru kanousei ga takai chuihou

Check the latest weather report frequently, especially on the
precipitation amount from TV, websites, Twitter, or apps.
Start evacuation to the evacuation sites. Those living in the area with “Sediment Disaster Prevention Act” and elders should evacuate first.

4. 警報 

All people should evacuate to the designated sites as soon as possible.
“Sediment disaster alert” or “information about a record-breaking deluge in a short period” will be announced. 
Announcement of this warning means you might risk your life anytime or the accidents of risking your life should be already happening in the area.

5. 特別警報
 tokubetsu keihou

If this warning announced in the area, it means everywhere—even in the areas considered as relatively safe—is extremely dangerous. In some places, it might be too late to evacuate. Do not leave the evacuation sites and keep safe.
At this level, the heaviness of the rain and the seriousness of the  disaster is regarded as the once-in-decades disaster or worse, never-experienced level of disaster.

Source: Brochure from
Japan Meteorological Agency

All pictures were provided by
Japan Meteorological Agency.

 (23 July 2019)

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