Heavy rains in Japan force more than one million people to evacuate
Japan is back on alert for drenching rain, mudslides less than a week after deadly flooding. Parts of Japan are bracing for more flooding after downpours triggered deadly mudslides and flooding last week. Kanoya recorded 472,5mm in a single day and more than 600mm over a three-day period during last week's flooding event. A slow-moving storm system is set to unleash widespread heavy rainfall across southern and central Japan from Wednesday into Friday, renewing the risk for flooding and mudslides for millions of people. Downpours ahead of the storm's arrival triggered an evacuation advisory for Mihara in Kochi Prefecture on Tuesday, 9 July 2019.
Kyushu, far southwest Honshu and southern Shikoku bore the brunt of the heavy rainfall on Wednesday, 10 July 2019.
Downpours continued in these areas on Wednesday night and expanded northward across southern Honshu and the remainder of Shikoku. Heavy rainfall fell across southern Honshu and Shikoku on Thursday morning with a few lingering showers across Kyushu. The rainfall tapered off across Shikoku during the afternoon with downpours expanding northward across Honshu.
This magnitude of rainfall can lead to life-threatening flash flooding and mudslides. Travel delays are also expected to be common across the region.
The rain will continue to slowly track northward Thursday night into Friday, reaching the Greater Tokyo Area late Thursday night into Friday.
Localised flooding is possible; however, significant delays to the morning commute on Friday are expected.
Japanese authorities on Wednesday instructed more than one million residents in parts of the southern main island of Kyushu to evacuate to designated shelters as heavy rains battered the region, prompting fears of landslides and widespread flooding.
Some areas have seen 1 000 mm of rainfall since Friday, 5 July 2019, which is more than double what's usually expected for the entire month of July.
Weather officials encouraged people in affected areas to evacuate without waiting for advisories.
Forecasts showed that southern Kyushu would have up to 150mm of rainfall in the 24 hours through Friday morning. In central and eastern Japan, 100 to 130mm are expected before Friday morning.