August 8, 2017 / 3:22 AM / in 3 months

Now a tropical storm, Noru rakes Japan's main island

TOKYO (Reuters) - Typhoon Noru raked Japan’s main island of Honshu with heavy rains and strong winds on Tuesday, despite being downgraded to a tropical storm, flooding rivers and prompting the evacuation of thousands at one point, but staying well away from Tokyo.

An aerial view showing inundated buildings and structures caused by swollen river, seen in Nagahama, western Japan, hit by heavy rain caused by Typhoon Noru, in this photo taken by Kyodo August 8, 2017. Mandatory credit Kyodo/via REUTERS

An unusually long-lived storm that was briefly a Category 5 typhoon, Noru battered parts of north-central Japan with 40 mm (1.6 inches) of rainfall in the hour to 10:00 a.m. (0200 GMT), prompting warnings of landslides and sending some rivers over their banks.

About 50 people were injured, public broadcaster NHK said, but no further deaths were reported after two at the weekend and no people were missing. An evacuation order for about 7,000 people in the city of Fukui was lifted by 11:00 a.m. but such advisories were retained elsewhere.

Noru, the Korean name for a species of deer, had been expected to brush Tokyo but veered farther north, leaving the Japanese capital untouched but for some high winds.

The storm is expected to become a tropical depression later on Tuesday and head out into the Pacific on Wednesday.

Two Japanese oil refiners said they had halted berth shipments at eastern plants on Tuesday but refining operations and truck shipments had not been affected.

Reporting by Elaine Lies and Osamu Tsukimori; Editing by Clarence Fernandez

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