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At least 2 killed, 260,000 evacuated as Typhoon Man-yi lashes Japan

TOKYO -- A powerful typhoon lashed Japan with torrential rain Monday, leaving two dead as it damaged homes and flooded parts of the country's popular tourist destination of Kyoto, where 260,000 people were ordered to evacuate to shelters.

Typhoon Man-yi was later downgraded to a tropical storm, centered off the eastern coast of Japan's northern main island of Hokkaido, although it was still dumping heavy rain on parts of the country, officials said.

Trains in Tokyo and its vicinity were suspended for part of the day, but transportation had mostly resumed in the area by Monday evening. Hundreds of flights were grounded.

The storm forced U.S. military bases in the Tokyo area to suspend operations and close base schools, according to the American Forces Network. Normal operations would resume Tuesday, the military news network said in Facebook notices to American service members and their families in Japan.

More than 100 people were reported injured across the country by Monday evening, public broadcaster NHK said, citing its own tally.

Police and disaster-management officials said the body of a 72-year-old woman was dug out of the debris of her home, which was smashed by a mudslide the night before in Shiga prefecture, east of Kyoto. A 77-year-old woman was found dead in a mudslide in Fukui prefecture.

The Meteorological Agency said the storm dumped an “unprecedented” amount of rainfall in Kyoto and two neighboring prefectures -- as much as 3 inches per hour. It lifted a “special warning” for the area Monday.

In Kyoto, where the city's major Katsura River flooded, 260,000 people in the prefectural capital alone were told to evacuate. Across Japan, hundreds of thousands of others were also ordered to evacuate.

Tourists in Kyoto were taken to safety in boats towed by rescue workers on a flooded riverside street, near the normally scenic Arashiyama area.

As a preventive measure, workers at the crippled Fukushima Daichi nuclear power plant, about 155 miles northeast of Tokyo, were pumping away rainwater that was pooling around hundreds of storage tanks containing radioactive water.

Plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. said it was taking the step to reduce the risk of flooding and the possibility of tank leaks mixing with rainwater, then seeping into the soil or flowing into the sea.

The rainwater was being released to the ocean and was believed to be untainted, Tepco said.

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