Tokyo, July 3 (EFE).- Southern Japan remained on alert on Monday as torrential rains caused flooding and damaged infrastructure, prompting local authorities to recommend the evacuation of over 1 million people.
Rainfall affecting parts of southern and western Japan since Friday intensified in the southwest on Sunday night, especially in the Kumamoto and Kagoshima prefectures.
Nearly half a million people in both regions were under evacuation orders at 5 pm on Monday.
More than 80,000 people in Fukuoka, Oita and Miyazaki, especially the elderly, were urged to seek shelter in public emergency shelters amid a risk of overflowing rivers and landslides.
In the town of Yamato, in Kumamoto, where more than 570 millimeters of rain has already been recorded – more than the average for July -, a bridge collapsed due to the rainfall.
Infrastructure has also been damaged in parts of western Japan in the last few days, including the railway tracks of the Japan Rail Mine line, in Yamaguchi.
The only casualty so far has been recorded in Yamaguchi, where a man’s car was washed away by the water.
Two people have also been reported missing.
The rains have triggered landslides that have blocked roads and flooded homes and buildings located mainly in the vicinity of swollen rivers.
In Mashiki, also in Kumamoto, authorities reported that the water of Kiyama and Iwato rivers, which flow through the town, had overflowed and a local Buddhist temple had collapsed, without causing any injuries.
The Japan Meteorological Agency has said that it will continue to rain in the next few hours and urged people to remain alert. EFE