TOKYO – Torrential rain and powerful downpours have battered western Japan and the southwestern Kyushu region, wreaking havoc and resulting in tragic consequences. As record-breaking hourly precipitation engulfed several areas, one person tragically lost their life, while two others remain missing amidst the chaos. Local authorities, alongside the Japan Meteorological Agency, have been diligently working to address the urgent situation caused by the relentless onslaught of heavy rainfall.
Unprecedented Rainfall Triggers Catastrophic Events
The Japan Meteorological Agency issued a series of urgent warnings, signaling the potential dangers of mudslides, flooding in low-lying areas, and river overflow. This relentless heavy rainfall is anticipated to persist across regions spanning from western to eastern Japan, due to the presence of the seasonal rain front.
In the Yamaguchi Prefecture of western Japan, a heartbreaking incident unfolded as a man was discovered lifeless inside a car that had been washed away by the overpowering deluge. Meanwhile, in Oita Prefecture in the southwestern region of the country, a mudslide ravaged a house, leaving rescuers frantically attempting to establish contact with its 70-year-old male occupant, who remains unaccounted for.
The Wrath of the Downpour
Chikujo in Fukuoka Prefecture, southwestern Japan, was pounded by torrential rain, experiencing an astonishing downpour of approximately 110 millimeters per hour during the early hours of Saturday, as reported by the Japan Meteorological Agency. Furthermore, record-breaking hourly rainfall was observed in various parts of Yamaguchi and Fukuoka prefectures, leaving a trail of destruction in their wake.
In Mine, located in Yamaguchi Prefecture, the heavy rain submerged seven vehicles, and one driver has been reported missing, according to local police authorities. The situation remains dire as rescue efforts continue in an attempt to locate the missing individual and ensure the safety of others affected by the calamity.
Unprecedented Rainfall Data
Yufu, situated in Oita Prefecture, has recorded an unprecedented amount of rainfall for the month of July. As of 9 a.m. on Saturday, the Japan Meteorological Agency reported a staggering 385 millimeters of rainfall within a 24-hour period. This exceptional volume of precipitation adds to the already immense challenges faced by the region, compounding the difficulties encountered by both residents and emergency response teams.
Disruptions in Transportation
The consequences of this extreme weather have not been limited to the immediate impact on residents and infrastructure. Services between Hiroshima and Hakata stations on the Sanyo Shinkansen bullet train were temporarily suspended, causing inconvenience and disruption to commuters and travelers. West Japan Railway Co. has been working tirelessly to rectify the situation and restore normalcy to the affected railway lines.
The relentless onslaught of heavy rain has left western Japan and the southwestern Kyushu region in a state of devastation. With lives lost and individuals still missing, the local authorities and rescue teams are grappling with the aftermath of the catastrophic events. As the Japan Meteorological Agency continues to monitor the situation, it is imperative for residents to remain vigilant and follow the instructions and advisories issued to ensure their safety in the face of this unprecedented rainfall.