National

Road damage after torrential rain on Yakushima Island leaves about 200 people stranded

Kyodo

A total of at least 10 buses being used to transport mountain hikers and several cars became stranded on Yakushima Island in Kagoshima Prefecture on Saturday following torrential rain, leaving about 200 people trapped there, local officials said.

The heavy downpour caused a road near one of the starting points for climbing to cave in, officials at the Yakushima town office said.

Rescue workers headed to the area but decided to postpone rescue operations until early Sunday due to continuing bad weather. All the people trapped were safe in the buses and cars as of Saturday night, town officials said.

The Yakushima town office issued an evacuation advisory for 6,667 households on the island.

Later Saturday night, Kagoshima Prefecture officials requested Ground Self-Defense Force personnel be dispatched to help rescue the stranded people.

According to the local meteorological observatory, torrential rain amounting to around 120 millimeters per hour was recorded in the southern area of the town during the late afternoon.

Other areas in southern Kyushu also received heavy rain.

The Meteorological Agency warned up to 200 millimeters of rain could fall in Kagoshima Prefecture and 180 millimeters could fall in Miyazaki Prefecture in the 24-hour period through 6 p.m. Sunday.

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