Downpours Could Last a Week

More than 5M residents have been advised to evacuate
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 14, 2021 5:35 PM CDT
Downpours Swamp Japan
Firefighters pull stranded residents in a boat Saturday in a flooded road in Kurume, western Japan.   (Kyodo News via AP)

(Newser) – Heavy rains are causing floods, landslides, and evacuations in Japan, with millions of people advised to flee. The nation's meteorological authority issued evacuation warnings Saturday covering more than 5 million people, CNN reports. The agency warned that the rain front could remain over Japan for a week. The southwest has been hit hardest, per the BBC, but the torrential rains are predicted to soon stretch across Japan. The front is moving east, dumping heavy rain on Kyoto and Nagao. A mudslide in Nagasaki prefecture buried four people, at least one of whom was killed, per the AP. Housing has been damaged, as well.

Rescue crews were using inflatable boats to evacuate people through flooded streets in some places. The forecast for the southern island of Kuyshu said nearly 10 inches could fall there in the 24-hour period ending Sunday morning. This amount of rainfall is unprecedented, said an official from the meteorological agency. "It's highly likely that some kind of disaster has already occurred," he said in asking that residents heed the warning to evacuate. Rivers are still rising. A 76-year-old man is missing in Kumamoto, in southwestern Japan, after he tried to make his fishing boat secure in a river. (Read more Japan stories.)

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