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Evacuation advisories issued for over 1.2 million as heavy rain lashes Japan; 1 dead

The area where a landslide occurred, hitting a residence, is seen in the town of Honjo, Kagoshima Prefecture, on the morning of July 1, 2019. (Mainichi/Takaharu Nishi)

Heavy rain from a seasonal rain front has continued to lash southern Kyushu in southwestern Japan and other areas, killing one person and sparking evacuation advisories for over 1.2 million people and triggering at least one landslide.

The Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) has warned of heavy rain in eastern Japan on July 1 and in western Japan through July 4, with a possibility of localized downpours and thunderstorms. The agency is calling for people to be on their guard against landslides, flooding in low-lying areas, lightning and other extreme weather.

By 9 a.m., evacuation advisories were in place for more than 1.21 million people in 558,715 households in 21 municipalities in the three southwestern Japan prefectures of Kagoshima, Miyazaki and Kumamoto. The advisory for the city of Kagoshima covered almost the entire municipality.

In the town of Honjo in Kagoshima Prefecture, a hillside gave way, resulting in a landslide that hit the home of a 78-year-old woman. She was rescued by her husband and neighbors and admitted to hospital, but later died.

Some train services in Kyushu were suspended while some expressways sections on the island were also closed to traffic.

Over the 24-hour period ending at 6 a.m. on July 2, the agency predicts up to 200 millimeters of rain in southern Kyushu, and 100 millimeters in northern Kyushu, as well as on Shikoku and in the Kinki region in western Japan. Up to 80 millimeters is expected to fall in the Tokai region in central Japan.

(Japanese original by Ran Kanno, Kagoshima Bureau and Atsushige Nakamura, Kyushu News Department)

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