Heavy rains in Japan force nearly 800,000 residents to evacuate

Heavy rains in Japan force nearly 800,000 residents to evacuate”

In the morning of July 3, Cabinet ministers discussed the situation and what to do about it.

Some 800,000 residents of three cities in Kagoshima Prefecture in southwestern Japan were instructed Wednesday to evacuate, as torrential rain raised the risk of floods and mudslides.

Japan's southern city of Kagoshima ordered its almost 600,000 residents to evacuate on Wednesday (July 3) as torrential rain threatened to cause landslides and other damage, said public broadcaster NHK.

The Japan Meteorological Agency said that up to 13 inches of additional rain are expected through Thursday in parts of the southern main island of Kyushu.

Directives are stronger than advisories, but there are no penalties if people do not comply.

"I live alone next to a river, and it's scary to think of water rising", one woman in an evacuation center told NHK. The rain also has flooded dozens of homes.

Heavy rain was forecast to continue into Thursday, Japan Meteorological Agency said.

Parts of Kyushu have been inundated with up to 1000mm of rain since last Friday, Japanese public broadcaster NHK reported.

Heavy rain in western Japan forced Kyushu Railway temporarily suspend shinkansen bullet train services between Kumamoto and Kagoshima on Tuesday afternoon, while delays occurred on trains between Hakata and Kumamoto.

He also urged residents to use caution and try to evacuate early "to protect your lives" rather than waiting until the last minute. Officials about the possibilities of "deep-seated landslides" that can cover large areas and be over 300 feet deep. The agency said that it may issue an emergency warning, used for weather events that occur only once every several decades, if extremely intense rain continues for several hours in the same areas.

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