Japan: over 1 million people to evacuate after heavy rains spark landslide concerns

Japan: over 1 million people to evacuate after heavy rains spark landslide concerns

Japanese authorities have ordered the evacuation of more than one million people on the southwestern main island of Kyushu amid heavy rains which have sparked concerns of landslides.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has urged residents to “take steps to save their lives”.

Three southern prefectures had the directive to evacuate issued to them by The Fire and Disaster Management Agency on Wednesday (local time).

According to weather officials, more than 1000mm (39in) of rain has fallen on the island since Friday (local time).

The rain is forecast to continue into next week, according to Japan’s Meteorological Agency.

350mm of rain is expected to hit the southern part of the island on Thursday (local time), with the agency saying a month’s worth of rainfall could hit sections of Kyushu in just 24 hours.

375mm of rain was recorded in a day in Kagoshima, which is the most rainfall ever recorded in 24 hours for that region.

250mm of rain is also expected to hit the island of Shikoku in the same time period.

An elderly woman was killed in Kagoshima city after a mudslide hit her home and dozens of homes have been flooded since the downpour began on Friday (local time).

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