Flooding and mudslides left three people dead Saturday after record rain hit Kyushu, sending the rain-related death toll over the last week to 23 in nine prefectures.
The rain-triggered disasters left four people missing in three prefectures as a 76-year-old man in Kagoshima Prefecture was added to the list after going to his office near a swollen river.
The Meteorological Agency issued alerts over possible “major disasters,” referring to landslides and other problems in Kumamoto, Miyazaki and Kagoshima prefectures.
All of the latest fatalities occurred in Kagoshima Prefecture. Miki Okuzono, an 86-year-old woman, died after being swept away by a flooded river in Oguchi, and Koichi Umino, 45, fatally buried under a mudslide that hit his construction firm office.
Reiko Houman, a 65-year-old woman, was rescued from a mudslide in Hishikari but died after being taken to a hospital.
Nine weather observation spots in Kagoshima, Kumamoto and Miyazaki prefectures in Kyushu recorded their most-ever rainfall for a 24-hour period.
In Akune, Kagoshima Prefecture, more than 540 mm of rain fell in the 24 hours to Saturday evening.
The city of Minamata, Kumamoto Prefecture, advised some 30,000 residents to evacuate the vicinity of the Minamata River, which was threatening to overflow its banks. Bullet train services were halted on the Kyushu Shinkansen Line but were later resumed.
The Meteorological Agency forecast that heavy rain would continue in the Kyushu region through Sunday.
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