Fukuoka floods kill police officer; 102,000 told to evacuate

Kyodo

Record rainfall in Fukuoka Prefecture on Friday triggered an evacuation advisory for about 102,000 residents of Chikushino to avoid mudslides and river flooding that killed a police officer.

According to the city, heavy rains have inundated several roads and left other areas underwater. The flooding, triggered by torrential rain in western regions in the morning, also claimed the life of a police officer who was swept away at around 6 a.m. by a swelling river that flows through the town of Shime.

The officer was found by a firefighter and transported to a hospital, where he was later pronounced dead.

An evacuation advisory was also issued to residents in the cities of Kasuga, Onojo, Dazaifu and some in the town of Sue. Dazaifu logged 98.5 millimeters of rain per hour, setting a record for August.

The Meteorological Agency said heavy rain and lightning were expected across the country through Saturday and warned against flooding, river floods and landslides.

The agency also said radar had detected “record-high short-term rainfall” in excess of 110 mm per hour in Chikushino, Dazaifu and the town of Nakagawa.

On Friday morning, precipitation of about 60 to 70 mm per hour was observed in some areas in Kyushu, including Sasebo in Nagasaki Prefecture and Karatsu in Saga.

In Hiroshima Prefecture, meanwhile, Miyoshi got 51 mm of rain in an hour and Asakita Ward, one of the areas hardest hit by Wednesday’s mudslides, got an additional 20.5 mm.

The Meteorological Agency said it expected the warm and moist air mass to cause heavy rain and move slowly to east through Saturday until it meets a cold air mass over Japan. The air masses may affect weather across the country, the agency said.