One killed as heavy rain triggers landslides in Japan

Tokyo, July 10 (BNA): Heavy rains in southwestern Japan caused landslides, killing at least one person and leaving three missing, while authorities urged tens of thousands to leave their homes due to the risk of more landslides and floods.

Reuters reported that Japan is the latest country to experience unusually heavy rains in various parts of the world in recent days, raising new concerns about the pace of climate change.

“The rain has become very heavy unlike anything we’ve seen before,” Satoshi Sugimoto, director of the forecast department at the Japan Meteorological Agency, told a news conference.

A woman in her 70s was killed when a landslide hit her home in Fukuoka Prefecture, while three people are missing after a landslide hit two homes in Saga Prefecture, public broadcaster NHK reported.

The highest level of warning of heavy rain has been issued in parts of Fukuoka and Oita prefectures on Kyushu island.

The Ministry of Lands said at least eight rivers burst their banks and scores of mudslides occurred in an area hit by rains that killed dozens in July 2017.

Media reported that authorities had urged tens of thousands of residents to move out of areas at risk of more landslides and floods.

Some parts of Fukuoka have seen more than 500mm of rain since Friday, which is more than normal for the whole of July, Sugimoto said, and up to 200mm of rain is forecast until early Tuesday.

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Government spokesman Hirokazu Matsuno told a regular press conference that 6,740 homes were without electricity while 80 homes had no water, as of early Monday.


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