X
UCA News

Japan

Thousands urged to evacuate as heavy rain batters Japan

Weather agency warns of 'grave disaster' as downpours threaten to bring floods and landslides

AFP, Tokyo

AFP, Tokyo

Published: August 13, 2021 05:24 AM GMT

Updated: August 13, 2021 05:29 AM GMT

Thousands urged to evacuate as heavy rain batters Japan

Many pumps drain the swollen river water in Kurume City, Fukuoka prefecture, western Japan, on Aug. 13. (Photo: AFP)

Tens of thousands of people were urged to evacuate on Aug. 13 as "unprecedented" levels of torrential rain hit western Japan, raising the risk of floods and landslides, the weather agency said.

The downpours are forecast to continue for several days over a large swathe of the country, from the northern Tohoku region to Kyushu in the south.

"There is a possibility that a grave disaster will occur" in the coming days, a Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) official told an emergency news conference shown live on public broadcaster NHK.

In Unzen city in southern Nagasaki prefecture, two houses were hit by a landslide with one woman in her 50s feared dead, a local official told AFP.

The heaviest rain was in Hiroshima prefecture, where non-compulsory evacuation orders were issued to at least 69,500 people and the top flood alert announced.

In the city of Hiroshima, "we have issued a special heavy rain warning. This is a level of heavy rain that we have never experienced before", the JMA said in a statement.

The Land Ministry warned that water levels are extremely high in three rivers

The agency official also called the rain in some areas "unprecedented".

The Land Ministry warned that water levels are extremely high in three rivers — two running through the Hiroshima region, and one in southern Kumamoto.

Scientists say climate change is intensifying the risk of heavy rain in Japan and elsewhere because a warmer atmosphere holds more water.

Downpours last month caused a devastating landslide in the central resort town of Atami that killed at least 21 people.

Thank you. You are now signed up to Daily newsletter

And in 2018 more than 200 people died as floods inundated western Japan during the country's annual rainy season.

On Friday, the JMA said that in the 24 hours from 6am on Aug. 13, some 300 millimetres of rain is expected in the northern part of Kyushu, with 200-250 millimetres forecast in many other parts of the country.

Also Read

UCA News Podcast
UCAN Ad
slavery-in-asia
 
Mission in Asia - Contribute to help UCA News
Mission in Asia - Contribute to help UCA News
UCA News Catholic Dioceses in Asia
UCA News Catholic Dioceses in Asia
UCA News Catholic Dioceses in Asia