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Friday, 12 July, 2002, 11:26 GMT 12:26 UK
Japan clears up after storm
A man holds his dog on a flooded street in Oogaki, central Japan
People forced to evacuate started returning home
Tropical storm Chata'an moved away from northern Japan on Friday leaving at least five people dead and 18 injured in its wake.

Thousands of people who had been ordered to evacuate their homes because of flooding started to return home, and the disrupted rail service returned to normal.

A road is washed out by floods in Gifu city, Japan
Many rivers burst their banks
What was Typhoon Chata'an - before it was downgraded to a tropical storm - has brought heavy rains, landslides and flooding to several parts of East Asia.

It caused at least 46 deaths in Micronesia and played a part in 29 deaths in the Philippines, which was also deluged with monsoon rains.

On Thursday, more than 100,000 people were ordered to leave areas north of Tokyo because of the flooding fears.

Deaths

The storm's victims included a 72-year-old woman swept away by floodwaters with her house, and a 78-year-old man who was buried in a mudslide.

Two school-age boys - one said to have been swept into a river while looking for a football - were also confirmed dead.

There were also reports of up to three people missing.

The storm first hit Japan on Wednesday, disrupting high-speed trains and flights with heavy rains. But predictions that it would hit Tokyo hard did not come true as the storm headed up the Pacific coast.

Officials said Chata'an storm had caused hundreds of landslides in central and northern Japan, while floods had wiped out more than 1,000 homes and at least seven bridges.

Some areas received 300mm of rain in 24 hours.

See also:

05 Jul 02 | Asia-Pacific
04 Jul 02 | Asia-Pacific
18 Sep 00 | Science/Nature
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