Japan floods: three die as island hit by 'heaviest' rainfall
Three people were killed and three others are missing in flooding in southwest Japan caused by the region's "heaviest" rain ever. Rivers overflowed and hillsides collapsed as record amounts of rain were dumped on parts of Kyushu island. The national weather agency logged 402.5mm falling in Kurume on Monday, the highest ever recorded in the city. Roads and powerlines were cut, and thousands were ordered to evacuate as further downpours were expected. Satoshi Sugimoto, of the Japanese Meteorological Agency, said he believed the downpours were "the heaviest ever experienced" in the region. At least three people died in the flooding but the toll could rise, government spokesman Hirokazu Matsuno told AFP news agency. Three people were missing in some of the remotest areas of the island. "We express our condolences to those who died, and our heartfelt sympathy towards those who were affected by the disaster," Mr Matsuno said. The downpours prompted evacuation notices for hundreds of thousands of people and remote communities remain effectively cut off by flooding and other damage, he said. An elderly woman died when she was trapped in a house engulfed in mud in Soeda, Fukuoka province, local authorities said. Her husband survived. Another victim was apparently washed away by a flooded river while riding in a car in Kurume. Japan is currently in its annual rainy season, which often brings heavy downpours, and sometimes results in flooding and landslides as well as casualties. According to the Japanese Meteorological Agency, the heaviest rainfall recorded in Japan was in Hakone, Kanagawa Prefecture, on 12 October, 2019, when 922.5mm fell in one day . Scientists say climate change is intensifying the risk of heavy rain in Japan and elsewhere, because a warmer atmosphere holds more water. The weather agency said it had already been raining for more than a week in the region before the heavy downpours that arrived Sunday night. And while the sun was shining in many areas on Tuesday, officials have warned of more rain in the forecast, which could loosen already sodden ground. Landslides are a particular risk in Japan during heavy rains because homes are often built on plains at the bottom of hillsides in the mountainous country. World sees hottest day since records began Flood warning in Delhi as rains batter north India Japan counts cost of biggest typhoon in decades Morocco rescuers dig with bare hands as foreign aid sent US denies Cold War with China in historic Vietnam visit How Russia and West agreed on Ukraine G20 language How Russia and West agreed on Ukraine G20 language US denies Cold War with China in historic Vietnam visit 'Everyone in this village is either dead or missing' A Serbian scientist's long quest to name Srebrenica's dead How chronic pain feels for me. Video How chronic pain feels for me Guyana scrambles to make the most of oil wealth The spongy creatures cleaning Zanzibar's oceans. Video The spongy creatures cleaning Zanzibar's oceans Inside a 'hijacked' South African building. Video Inside a 'hijacked' South African building The rise and fall of a parenting influencer Florida's first hurricane-proof town The greatest spy novel ever written? Why is everyone crazy about Aperol? 2023 BBC.