Kyushu: Relentless torrential rain is currently wreaking havoc in southwestern Japan. It has caused catastrophic floods and devastating mudslides that tragically have resulted in loss of lives. Since the weekend, the downpour has persisted, leading to the closure of roads, disruptions in train services and water supply cuts in certain areas.
Understanding the gravity of the situation, the Japan Meteorological Agency has issued an emergency heavy rain warning specifically for Fukuoka and Oita prefectures on the Kyushu islands’ southern region. Residents residing in riverside and hillside areas are urged to exercise utmost caution. Over 1.7 million residents living in vulnerable regions have been advised to prioritize their safety and seek shelter promptly.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno underscored the paramount importance of the people’s welfare. Reports from the Fire and Disaster Management Agency (FDMA) and local officials reveal that unfortunate incidents have already occurred. A man was tragically found deceased in a vehicle carried away by a rapidly flowing river. In Soeda town, Fukuoka prefecture, two individuals were buried under a mudslide. While one person was successfully rescued, the other was found lifeless and subsequently pronounced dead.
In Karatsu City, Saga prefecture, rescue teams are diligently searching for three individuals whose homes were struck by a mudslide. Footage captured by NHK television portrays one of the demolished houses reduced to a mere roof atop the muddy terrain, amidst the relentless flow of floodwater.
In addition it is worth mentioning that there have been reports of at least three additional individuals who have gone missing in different areas within the impacted region. The dire situation is evident as the Yamakuni River, swollen and turbulent, spills over a bridge in Yabakei town, Oita prefecture, engulfing the surroundings in muddy waters.