Japan: flooding in southern Japan: evacuations

Heavy rainfall began deluging southern Japan on Wednesday, causing a deadly mudslide. More communities will be at risk for life-threatening torrential rain totals of 16 inches (400 mm) through Saturday.

All-time rainfall has been inundating southern parts of Japan’s Kyushu Island the first few days of July, resulting in flooding and mudslides.

Rainfall from Monday to Wednesday totaled 21.42 inches (554.0 mm) in Nichinan City in Miyazaki Prefecture, shattering the previous all-time three-day record of 18.01 inches (457.5 mm) from Oct. 30, 2017.

On Wednesday alone, several locations in Kagoshima Prefecture registered the most rain ever to pour down in one day. This included Kanoya, where 18.60 inches (472.5 mm) exceeded the previous all-time wettest calendar day of (15.87 inches (403 mm) from Sept. 6, 2005.

Rainfall from Monday to Wednesday at Kanoya totaled 25.26 inches (641.5 mm), shattering the July three-day record of 20.08 inches (510 mm) from July 7, 1993.

Records were also broken in southern Kyushu and south-central Honshu Island for the most amount of rain to fall in an hour during the month of July. A total of 3.03 inches (77 mm) inundated Toshima village on Wednesday morning, breaking the old July one-hour record of 2.89 inches (73.5 mm) from three years ago.

Two women were killed in separate incidents of homes being buried by mudslides in Kagoshima Prefecture, according to Xinhua.

Flooding and mudslides across southern Japan have damaged nearly 80 homes and left about 1,700 other homes without power. Four people have sustained injuries, the AP reported.

Kagoshima Governor Satoshi Mitazono mobilized the Self-Defense forces to assist with disaster relief, according to the Japan Times.

More than 1 million people were ordered to evacuate southern Kyushu due to the life-threatening flooding rain. This included the entire populations of three cities in Kagoshima Prefecture.

On Thursday, all evacuation orders were lifted in Miyazaki Prefecture, according to Xinhua. About 793,000 people were still not allowed to return home in Kagoshima Prefecture.

The worst of the flooding has been confined to southern Kyushu as of Wednesday; however, downpours are expanding northeastward, bringing the risk for flooding and mudslides into southern Shikoku and southeastern Honshu through the start of the weekend.

Additional rounds of heavy rain will target areas from southernmost Kyushu to eastern Honshu on Friday and Friday night.