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Heavy rains in Japan force residents to evacuate

Posted on 4th July 2019 at 10:20am

Over one million people across the Japanese island of Kyushu have been ordered to evacuate, amid warnings of landslides and floods brought on by heavy rain on July 3, 2019.

Authorities urged residents in parts of Kagoshima and Miyazaki prefectures to move to safety immediately. An elderly woman in Kagoshima city died after a mudslide hit her home, bringing the death toll to two.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has told residents of the cities to “take steps to protect their lives.” Kagoshima prefecture has asked Japan's self-defence forces to help with the relief efforts, Governor Satoshi Mitazono reportedly said.

Landslide risk in Kyushu, Japan

The entire populations of Kagoshima city, Kirishima and Aira were ordered to leave. Another 930,000 people in the south of the island were also advised to move. However, by 16:00 hrs local time the country's Fire and Disaster Management Agency reportedly stated fewer than 4,000 people had been evacuated.

Weather officials say 1,000mm (39in) of rain has fallen on Kyushu island since Friday June 28, and Japan's Meteorological Agency forecasts that the rains will continue, with up to 80mm rain per hour in some areas. It added that a month's rainfall could hit parts of Kyushu in just 24 hours. The island of Shikoku is also forecast to receive up to 250mm of rain in the same period. The rainy front is expected to hang over the entire Japanese archipelago until July 6.

Read more about precautionary measures taken.

Reproduced under licence from BBC News © 2019 BBC

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