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More than 480 000 people told to evacuate as record-breaking rainfall hits southwestern Japan

2340z july 18 2022 himawari-8 with rainviewer

More than 480 000 people living in southwestern Japan have been told to evacuate on July 19, 2022, as record-breaking rains continue falling over the region.

  • Heavy rains are expected to continue through July 20.
  • Residents in the affected region are urged to be on their guard against landslides, floods in low-lying areas, and river flooding.

According to the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA), linear rainbands triggered localized rain in parts of Fukuoka, Saga and Oita prefectures in Kyushu and Yamaguchi Prefecture from late July 18 through the wee hours of July 19.

Parts of Kyoto and Shiga prefectures registered record downpours of around 90 mm (3.54 inches) per hour on July 19, according to the JMA.

As a result, shinkansen services were briefly suspended between Kyoto and Maibara, Shiga Prefecture, according to operator JR Central.1

The city of Hita, Oita Prefecture, recorded 81.5 mm (3.20 inches) of rainfall per hour, Kurume, Fukuoka recorded 63 mm (2.48 inches) while Yamaga, Kumamoto registered 62 mm (2.44 inches), according to the agency.

2320z july 18 2022 himawari-8 with rainviewer
Image credit: JMA/Himawari-8, Zoom Earth, The Watchers. Acquired at 23:20 UTC on July 18, 2022 (08:20 local time)

The maximum precipitation forecast for the 24-hour period up to 06:00 local time on July 20 is 250 mm (9.84 inches) in northern and southern Kyushu, 200 mm (7.87 inches) in west Japan’s Shikoku and Kinki regions, 180 mm (7.08 inches) in central Japan’s Tokai region, 150 mm (5.90 inches) in east Japan’s Kanto-Koshin region that includes Tokyo, and 100 mm (3.93 inches) in west Japan’s Chugoku region and the Hokuriku region in the Sea of Japan side of central Japan.2

The maximum rainfall projected for the 24-hour period up to 06:00 LT on July 21 is 100 to 150 mm (3.93 – 5.90 inches) in northern and southern Kyushu.

References:

1 480,000 told to evacuate as record rainfall hits southwestern Japan – The Japan Times – July 19, 2022

2 Torrential rain continues to pound southwest Japan – The Mainichi – July 19, 2022

Featured image credit: JMA/Himawari-8, Zoom Earth, The Watchers. Acquired at 23:40 UTC on July 18, 2022

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