Japan braces for return of torrential southern rains that killed 16

Rising water caused by a heavy rain is seen along Kuma river in Yatsushiro, Kumamoto prefecture, southern Japan July 4, 2020. — Picture by Kyodo via Reuters
Rising water caused by a heavy rain is seen along Kuma river in Yatsushiro, Kumamoto prefecture, southern Japan July 4, 2020. — Picture by Kyodo via Reuters

TOKYO, July 5 — Torrential rains that hit Japan’s southern island of Kyushu killed 16 people, with 13 going missing and 17 showing no vital signs, public broadcaster NHK said today, as the weather agency expects heavy rain to resume by evening.

Yesterday’s unprecedented rains in the Kumamoto prefecture of central Kyushu unleashed floods and landslides.

Television broadcast images of overturned cars, people shoveling mud from their homes and the military rescuing stranded residents in boats.

“We had no electricity and no running water,” one rescued woman told the broadcaster. “It was tough.”

The Japan Meteorological Agency urged people to stay vigilant, as more rains are predicted.

“From this evening on, extremely heavy rains with thunder are expected in southern as well as northern Kyushu,” an agency official told Reuters.

“The rainfall so far has already loosened the ground. There is a high chance of landslides occurring, even without much additional rain.” — Reuters

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