Japan

Highest level rain alert issued in southwest Japan

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mainichi– Japan’s weather agency issued its highest level rain alert in parts of the country’s southwest on Saturday, leading local authorities to instruct some 245,000 residents to take immediate safety measures.

There were no reports of injuries or casualties. However, some buildings and roads were flooded in parts of Kumamoto, Miyazaki and Kagoshima prefectures, according to the Japan Meteorological Agency.

It was the first time that the agency has issued a level 5 torrential rain alert, the highest on its 5-tier scale, this year. The alert, however, was lowered to a warning, or level 3, in the afternoon.

The agency issued landslide alerts in the region, as well.

Given the possibility of torrential rain in western and eastern Japan through Sunday, the agency called on the public to stay vigilant, saying the risk of flooding and landslides will remain.

In Kagoshima Prefecture, around 10 families were stranded as roads collapsed. Approximately 100 evacuation centers were set up in the southwestern Japan prefecture.

Satsuma, also in the prefecture, had seen precipitation of 96.5 millimeters per hour, a record hourly rainfall for the town, according to the agency.

Ebino in Miyazaki Prefecture saw 83.5 mm of rainfall per hour.

On July 3, torrential rain triggered a large mudslide in Atami, Shizuoka Prefecture, leaving nine dead.

Rescue and recovery efforts continue in the central Japan city for 19 still unaccounted for.