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Extreme weather

Japan battered by heavy rains across several prefectures, causing landslides and flooding

PUBLISHED : Friday, 06 July, 2018, 4:30pm
UPDATED : Friday, 06 July, 2018, 4:30pm

Heavy rainfall continued in wide areas of Japan on Friday, leaving several people missing due to landslides and swollen rivers in western prefectures.

The Japan Meteorological Agency forecast record amounts of rain in the country through Sunday, warning of flooding, mudslides and lightning strikes.

Evacuation orders have been issued in Kyoto, Kochi, Osaka and Hyogo prefectures in western Japan with Ground Self-Defence Force personnel dispatched to rescue some residents trapped in the city of Aki in Kochi.

A landslide hit a house in Kitakyushu, Fukuoka Prefecture, around 7.30am. Six people were rescued from the site in Moji Ward, rescuers said, adding that they are trying to confirm information that a man and his wife in their 60s were buried alive.

A woman in her 50s went missing in the city of Kameoka, Kyoto, after leaving home in a car that was found in a swollen river around 2.40am, according to local authorities.

In the city of Konan, Kochi, a man who was delivering milk by car remains unaccounted for, police said. They believe he was washed away in a river in his vehicle.

Evacuation orders were issued for about 143,000 people in Kyoto Prefecture, around 9,700 in Osaka Prefecture, including those affected by last month’s strong earthquake, and about 460 in the city of Kobe, Hyogo.

Sanyo shinkansen bullet train services were partially halted from Thursday night due to heavy rain and risks of mud flowing onto railway tracks in some areas. But West Japan Railway Co. resumed operations Friday morning.

Atmospheric conditions have become very unstable as warm and damp air is flowing into a seasonal front, potentially causing gusts and tornadoes, the agency said.

It warned of particularly heavy rain of up to 80 millimetres per hour with lightening on Saturday. In the 24-hour period through 6am. On Saturday, 400mm of rain is forecast in the Shikoku region, 300mm in the Kanto-Koshin, Tokai, northern Kyushu regions and 250mm in the Kinki, Chugoku and southern Kyushu regions.