Tokyo: Torrential rain-tiggered mudslides in Japan killed at least four people, while five others were reported missing, with the country’s weather agency urging citizens to remain vigilant as the threat of more disasters remains.
The Japan Meteorological Agency said on Monday that more downpours are expected for wide areas from western Japan to the northeastern parts of the country in the coming days since a stationary front will possibly remain over the archipelago this week, reports Xinhua news agency.
The agency added that even a small amount of rain could trigger disasters because the land may have been saturated by rain in the past few days, warning of flooding and mudslides.
As of Monday morning, the Land Ministry reported 62 cases of rain-triggered mudslides in 17 of Japan’s 47 prefectures, while 36 rivers were flooded across nine prefectures, destroying homes and disrupting transportation.
In central Okaya Nagano prefecture, Yuki Makibuchi, 41, and her sons Haruki, 12, and Naoki, 7, died after a mudslide struck a house early Sunday morning.
In the southwestern city of Unzen, Nagasaki Prefecture, a mudslide led to a 59-year-old woman’s death and her husband, 67, while their daughter, 32, was missing.
Another three people remain missing in Hiroshima and Kumamoto prefectures.
Local authorities on Sunday issued the highest-level alerts, which covered about 1.83 million people in seven prefectures at one point, calling on them to take steps for their safety, according to the Fire and Disaster Management Agency.
In the 24 hours as of Tuesday, rainfall in northern Kyushu is expected to reach as high as 250 mm, while up to 200 mm is forecast in southern Kyushu and the Shikoku region.
A forecast of up to 120 mm is made across the Kinki and Chugoku areas.