Rising waters from the Yamakuni River in Japan from heavy rainfall is causing more floods where at least 17 people have died, 20 are missing and 50,000 are being evacuated to higher ground, according to the country’s Meteorological Agency.
Rescuers search for missing villagers after a mudslide in Minamiaso, in Japan’s Kumamoto prefecture, which has been hit by days of heavy rain and flooding.
About 400,000 people were ordered or advised to leave their homes in southwest Japan yesterday as heavy rain pounded the area for a third day leaving 29 dead or missing, according to the Associated Press.
The Japan Meteorological Agency warned of more landslides and floods on the main southern island of Kyushu as rainfall of up to 11 centimetres per hour was recorded yesterday.
Evacuation orders were issued to about 260,000 people in the north of the island where more rivers burst their banks, Kyushu’s local media reported.
They were told to go to designated shelters such as schools and other public facilities.
Nearly 140,000 other people were advised to leave their homes to avoid possible disaster, according to officials contacted by AFP in the four affected prefectures in Kyushu.
Television footage showed torrents of muddy, debris-strewn water and flooded houses following what officials described as “unprecedented” downpours from a seasonal rain front.
Along the Yamakuni river in Oita prefecture, water levels were seen reaching the roof of a riverside drive-in restaurant before subsiding later.
In Fukuoka prefecture alone, 78,600 people were ordered to evacuate their homes as rivers overflowed in dozens of places and 181 landslides occurred, an official said.
About 820 houses were damaged and three bridges washed away, said Fukuoka prefecture spokesman Hiroaki Aoki.