One woman has died and two people are missing after torrential rains triggered floods and landslides in western Japan on Saturday.
Authorities in Hiroshima and the northern part of Kyushu issued their highest evacuation alert as the weather agency reported unprecedented levels of rain in the area.
Kyushu saw record levels of rainfall, with as much as 956 mm (37.6 inches) falling in one area in the three days to noon on Saturday.
Landslides hit several parts of Nagasaki prefecture, with one killing Fumiyo Mori, 59, and sweeping away at least two houses.
Her husband and daughter were also missing and military personnel joined rescuers looking for them.
“More than 150 troops, police and firefighters were dispatched to the site for rescue operations,” said local official Takumi Kumasaki.
“They are carefully searching for the missing residents, while watching out for further mudslides as the heavy rain continues.”
Japan broadened its highest level 5 risk alerts to cover more than 1.5 million people, NHK said, while the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) warned of more rain to come over the next few days.
“People must take steps to secure their safety,” a JMA official told a news conference.
“There has been almost no movement of the rain front over Japan, and it’s being fed by warm, humid air, which is making it more active.”
Rivers broke their banks in several cities, including Kurume in Fukuoka, and were dangerously close to the tops in others.
Heavy rains also moved into the central part of the largest main island of Honshu.
Downpours are expected for several more days over a large swathe of the country.
Scientists have said climate change is increasing the risk of heavy rain in Japan and elsewhere because a warmer atmosphere holds more water.
“Unprecedented levels of heavy rain have been observed,” Yushi Adachi, a meteorological agency official, told reporters in Tokyo.
One step closer
I hope the storm will end soon and enjoy what is coming next
All MY Best