Record Rainfall Triggers Landslides in Japan; 19 Dead

Record rainfall in southwestern Japan left at least 19 people dead as landslides destroyed houses and rivers burst their banks.

A record 50 centimeters (20 inches) of rain fell in parts of the island of Kyushu within 24 hours through yesterday, with some areas lashed by as much as 10 centimeters per hour early this morning, the Japan Meteorological Agency said. The agency issued advisories for severe thunderstorms and further flooding as the weather front moves northeast across the rest of Japan.

Eighteen people died in landslides and flooding in Kumamoto prefecture, central Kyushu, national broadcaster NHK reported, while a 74 year-old man died in eastern Oita prefecture. Eight people are missing and about 28,000 people were evacuated to shelters in Kumamoto, with the heavy rainfall expected to continue throughout today, the broadcaster said on its website.

Kyushu Railway Co. said it suspended some train services, including on the coastal line linking Kagoshima in the south and Kokura in the north, the company said on its website.

To contact the reporter on this story: Stuart Biggs in Tokyo at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Teo Chian Wei at

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