National

More than 1.09 million residents in Kyushu ordered to evacuate as torrential rains continue

Kyodo

More than 1.09 million residents across two prefectures in Kyushu, including the entire populations of three cities in Kagoshima Prefecture, were ordered to evacuate as of 6 p.m. Wednesday, as continuing torrential rain raised the risk of floods and mudslides.

The amount of rainfall Friday totaled 1,010.5 millimeters in Ebino, Miyazaki Prefecture, and 755.5 mm in Satsumasendai, Kagoshima Prefecture, on Wednesday.

In Kanoya, in Kagoshima Prefecture, heavy rain of 81 mm per hour was recorded Wednesday afternoon.

Kagoshima Gov. Satoshi Mitazono told reporters Wednesday that the prefecture had decided to ask the Self-Defense Forces to deploy in order to assist with disaster relief, saying that there was an extremely high risk of large-scale disasters.

Yamato Transport Co. said Wednesday that the firm had stopped accepting orders for delivery and baggage collection in the cities of Kagoshima, Kirishima and Aira.

Sagawa Express Co. stopped baggage delivery and collection in parts of the cities of Kagoshima and Ebino.

The forecast for the Kyushu region indicated 80 mm of rain or more per hour, with some areas likely to receive a month of rainfall in 24 hours, according to the agency.

Holding an emergency news conference for the second straight day, the agency urged people to protect themselves.

The agency added that it might issue a special rain warning to Kumamoto and Kagoshima prefectures — and possibly other areas — if it anticipates precipitation reaching its highest levels in decades.

The same warning was issued when western Japan was pounded by torrential rain last July, when mudslides and floods left more than 200 people dead, mostly in Hiroshima, Okayama and Ehime prefectures.

“Please take action to protect your lives,” said Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, calling on residents in affected areas during a Cabinet meeting. He also instructed ministers to further brace for disasters and fully respond to them.

In the 24 hours through 6 a.m. Thursday, the agency forecast up to 350 mm of rain in southern Kyushu, up to 300 mm in northern Kyushu, and up to 250 mm in the Shikoku region.

In the Kinki region 150 mm of rain was forecast, while 120 mm was predicated for the Tokai region.

The Chugoku region and the Hokuriku area were also expected to see heavy rainfall, according to the agency.

It said a rainy front is expected to remain over the Japanese archipelago through Saturday, and could also drench eastern Japan.

GET THE BEST OF THE JAPAN TIMES
IN FIVE EASY PIECES WITH TAKE 5