246,000 people ordered to evacuate in Japan's Kyushu due to heavy rain
Tokyo, July 15 (Xinhua-ANI): Torrential downpours continued to drench Japan's Kyushu Island Saturday.
At least 22 people were killed by landslides and floods triggered by the rain, while as many as 246,000 people were ordered to evacuate in the rain-hit Kumamoto, Oita and Fukuoka prefectures, local press reported.
The heavy rain, which has hit the northern parts of the Kyushu region since Wednesday, also halted bullet-train services, forced the closure of expressways and caused power blackouts affecting about 7,000 households.
Police and local authorities said eight people remained missing as a result of the intermittent rain that has hit the region since Wednesday.
There has been more than 800 millimeters of rain to a city in Kumamoto Prefecture in only four days. Japanese weather officials said this amount of rain has not been seen before in such a short period of time.
Services on the Kyushu Shinkansen Line between Hakata and Kumamoto were temporarily suspended, while expressways were briefly closed to traffic.
In Fukuoka, Kumamoto and Oita prefectures, up to 7,000 households lost power due to the collapse of utility poles, Kyushu Electric Power Co. said.
Japanese weather officials said additional precipitation of more than 80 millimeters per hour is likely in some areas, warning a high risk of floods and landslides in areas with saturated ground. (Xinhua-ANI)
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