• Kyodo

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The weather agency warned Wednesday of the risk of further flooding, swollen rivers and mudslides across wide areas of the nation as heavy rain from last week continues unabated, having left at least eight people dead already.

The Meteorological Agency said more rain was forecast to hit areas from the west to the north of the country through Thursday as a stationary front was expected to move north along the archipelago.

The agency said the front was forecast to reach Hokkaido on Wednesday night, after moving over the Sea of Japan. The front is expected to gradually weaken from around Thursday.

Rain-related accidents have already resulted in the deaths of eight people, with several others unaccounted for, as rescue workers continue to search for those still missing.

The Nagasaki Prefectural Government said Wednesday a woman in her 80s who was found collapsed in a drain the previous day in the city of Hioki had died as a result of the rain.

Also early Wednesday, an earthquake with magnitude of 4.2 hit the city of Shobara in Hiroshima Prefecture, and the agency warned that even a small amount of rain or another quake could trigger mudslides in areas where the ground may have been saturated with rain from the past week.

In the 24 hours through Thursday morning, up to 200 millimeters of rainfall was forecast in southern Kyushu, up to 180 mm in the Shikoku region and up to 150 mm in the Tokai region.

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