Flooding And Mudslides Reportedly Leave Two Dead, At Least Six Missing In Japan

Policemen work as debris from flooding is seen along a road in the city of Kurume, Fukuoka prefecture, on July 10, 2023, after heavy rains hit wide areas of Kyushu island. (Photo by KAZUHIRO NOGI/AFP via Getty Images)

John Oyewale Contributor
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Floods and mudslides triggered by torrential rain over the past weekend weltered through southwestern Japan, leaving two people dead and at least six others missing, according to several reports.

The regions of Kyushu and Chugoku appear heavily affected as the downpour caused flooding along many rivers, triggered mudslides, closed roads, disrupted trains and cut the water supply in some areas, the Associated Press (AP) reported Monday.

A man was found dead in a vehicle that fell into a swollen river in Chugoku’s Yamaguchi prefecture, the AP report noted. A mudslide reportedly buried two people in Fukuoka prefecture on Kyushu island, killing one while the other was rescued. Another mudslide hit seven houses and buried 21 people in a different part of Fukuoka prefecture. Six people of the 21 extricated themselves unaided, rescue workers pulled out nine people and were trying to rescue five others while one was missing, per the report. At least six people were reported missing when mudslides struck in Saga prefecture. (RELATED: Flash Floods, Extreme Heat And An Unrelated Solar Storm To Strike US)

The Japan Meteorological Agency issued emergency weather warnings, urging over 1.7 million residents in vulnerable areas to take shelter, according to the report. Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s attendance at the July 11-12 NATO summit in Lithuania hangs in the balance, pending his assessment of the extent of damage Tuesday morning. “Either way, we will do our utmost to respond to the disaster by putting people’s lives first,” he reportedly said.

Some parts of Fukuoka have been hit with more than 600 mm (nearly 24 inches) of rain since Friday, more than usually falls in the whole of July, with another 100 mm (almost four inches) of rain expected up to early Tuesday, Sky News reported. “The rain is becoming so heavy unlike anything seen before,” Director of forecast division at Japan’s Meteorological Agency, Satoshi Sugimoto, reportedly said. The conditions knocked out power for 1,820 households and water for 60 homes, according to the news report.

Extreme rain recently hit parts of New York and Pennsylvania, USA, and parts of India, while parts of China have sweltered in record heat, the Sky News report noted.