AP NEWS

Heavy rain in south Japan causes flooding, mudslides; 4 hurt

July 4, 2019
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Rescuers work on the rooftop of the house damaged by a landslide in Soo, Kagoshima prefecture, western Japan, Thursday, July 4, 2019. Japanese authorities on Wednesday directed more than 1 million residents in parts of the southern main island of Kyushu to evacuate to designated shelters as heavy rains batter the region, prompting fears of landslides and widespread flooding.(Kyodo News via AP)

TOKYO (AP) — Heavy rain caused flooding and mudslides in southern Japan, injuring four people, damaging dozens of homes and leaving hundreds of others without power.

One person was missing and possibly was buried under the same mudslide where one person had been confirmed dead earlier, Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Yasutoshi Nishimura told reporters Thursday. The casualties occurred in the hardest-hit southern prefecture of Kagoshima.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe pledged to “do our best for rescue and lifesaving activities.”

Nearly 80 houses were damaged in Kagoshima and the two other southern prefectures of Miyazaki and Kumamoto. About 1,700 houses were without power.

Videos filmed by residents were circulated on social media showing a river in Kagoshima swollen with muddy, brown water threatening to overrun its banks.

Kagoshima Gov. Satoshi Mitazono requested the help of military personnel in the rescue effort. About 14,000 troops were on standby for emergency requests.

Rainfall since the weekend has exceeded 1 meter (yard) in areas, he said, and cautioned residents against landslide risks and urged them to stay up to date with weather reports.

Landslide warnings remained in effect for Kagoshima, Miyazaki and Kumamoto prefectures.

More than 1 million residents had been advised to evacuate to shelters due to the dangers.

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