Asia-Pacific

Japan orders up to one milllion people to evacuate after torrential rain

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Heavy rains have prompted authorities in Japan to order the evacuation of nearly 800,000 people on the southern island of Kyushu.

Japan has ordered nearly 800,000 people on the southern island of Kyushu to take shelter in evacuation centres and other safe areas as heavy rains threatened to trigger landslides and cause other damage.

Some parts of southern Kyushu have received up to 1000mm of rain since Friday, and forecasters expect as much as 350mm to fall in some areas by midday on Thursday, NHK said.

Evacuation orders were issued for nearly 600,000 residents of Kagoshima city and two smaller cities in the same prefecture, the broadcaster said.

Local residents evacuate at a community hall in Kriyama Town, Kagoshima Prefecture, southwest of Japan.
Local residents evacuate at a community hall in Kriyama Town, Kagoshima Prefecture, southwest of Japan.
Yomiuri Shimbun

Another 310,000 residents of the island were advised to find shelter, Kyodo News reported.

In Tokyo, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said residents should "take steps to protect their lives, including early evacuation" and he ordered the military to prepare for rescue operations if needed.

Abe was criticised for the government's slow response last July when heavy rains triggered landslides and floods, killing more than 200 people in Japan's worst weather disaster in 36 years.

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