Japanese government officials have apologized for failing to notify local residents when a powerful typhoon caused the flooding of a river in Ibaraki Prefecture, northeast of Tokyo, last weekend.
Officials of the land ministry's regional bureau and the Meteorological Agency made the apology at a news conference on Friday.
When a river floods, government officials are supposed to issue the highest-level warning and urge residents to exercise maximum caution.
But the officials failed to do this when they confirmed at around 4:30 a.m. on Sunday that the Naka River had overflowed. Typhoon Hagibis caused the river to burst its banks at three locations and the surrounding area was inundated.
The warning was not issued until 3 p.m. on Sunday.
The officials said they should have notified residents immediately, but they were too busy dealing with the flooding of another river in the prefecture and their office was in a state of confusion.
They said they will take steps to ensure that this kind of mistake will never happen again.