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Monday, 10 July 2017 01:00

Unprecedented rainfall leaves at least 11 dead in Japan

Unprecedented rainfall leaves at least 11 dead in Japan Credits: The Watchers

As of Friday, July 7, 2017, eleven people are confirmed dead and 14 are still missing, after three days of extreme rainfall caused massive flooding and landslides in many parts of Kyushu, southwestern Japan.

The rain was caused by a low pressure system over the Pacific Ocean that fed warm, moist air into Japan's seasonal rainy front. The hardest hit prefectures were Fukuoka and Oita, with approximately 450,000 people (close to 186 000 homes) being ordered to evacuate. River levels did also rise in the city of Kitakyushu, which has a population of about 950,000 people and issued evacuation orders for several districts.

According to the Japan Meteorological Agency, parts of Fukuoka prefecture were hit by 600.5 mm of rain within 48 hours from Wednesday, July 5, to Friday, July 7, which is more than 1.5 times the usual rain of the month. Some areas received 774 mm of rain within just 9 hours on Wednesday, more than 2 times for the entire month of July.

The evacuation orders remained in effect during the weekend for about 191,000 people in Fukuoka, Oita and Kumamoto prefectures, as rain was expected to continue, according to The Japan Times.

About 12,000 soldiers, policemen and firemen are involved in search and rescue operations, hoping to reach about 500 people cut off by landslides.

Sources: Reuters, The Watchers

Read 125 times Last modified on Monday, 10 July 2017 13:56

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