Wind-Swept Blaze In Japan Sets Fire On 140 Buildings


Tokyo:  A fire whipped by high winds has spread to at least 140 buildings in a small Japanese city on the Japan Sea coast.

The fire department says the blaze started at a restaurant in Itoigawa city Thursday morning. By mid-afternoon, 140 houses and other buildings had caught fire, and the fire is still spreading.

Troops were on their way to the coastal city after Niigata Governor Ryuichi Yoneyam requested military aid, an official in the fire division of the prefectural government said.

Japanese media say people have minor injuries. Two women in their 40s were lightly injured. One fell sick after inhaling smoke and a prefectural government employee fell and hit her head, according to the fire division official.

Authorities have issued an evacuation advisory for 273 households.

Itoigawa is in Niigata prefecture, about 260 kilometers (160 miles) northwest of Tokyo.