Record-breaking rainfall hit parts of southern Japan over the past few days, causing deadly mudslides and flooding and forcing authorities to issue evacuation orders to 1.1 million people.
Rainfall recorded from Monday, July 1 to Wednesday, July 3 was 554 mm (21.42 inches) in Nichinan city in Miyazaki prefecture. It broke the past all-time three-day record of 457.5 mm (18.01 inches) set on October 30, 2017.
During the same period, Kanoya registered 641.5 mm (25.26 inches), breaking the previous three-day record of 510 mm (20.8 inches) set on July 7, 1993.
In just 1 hour on July 3, Toshima village registered 77 mm (3.03 inches) of rain, breaking the old July one-hour record of 73.5 mm (2.89 inches) set in 2016.
Although evacuation orders were issued for 1.1 million residents in Kagoshima and Miyazaki prefectures on July 3 and 4, only 6 301 people actually took shelter, authorities said.
"The figure of 6 300 was … rather small," Nihon University professor Hiromichi Nakamori said, adding that, "...there could be cases in which going outside is more dangerous, depending on the situation in the neighborhood."
"Central and local governments need to think about what they should do to make residents follow their instructions and keep them aware of the need to take action to ensure their safety," he said.
According to media reports, two people died in Kagoshima Prefecture following landslides - one in Soo and the other in Kagoshima, both after landslides buried their homes.
Mudslides and flooding have damaged at least 80 homes and left 1 700 other homes without electricity.
A red warning for heavy rain has been issued over southern Kyushu Island and Amami Islands. Moderate to heavy rain is expected over the next 24 hours.
Featured image: Total Accumulated Precipitation July 1 - 5, 2019 (model run 00:00 UTC, July 1). Credit: GFS, TropicalTidbits
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