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Heavy rain causes deadly landslides in Kyushu

The Yomiuri Shimbun

An aerial photo shows a rescue operation at a house hit by a landslide due to heavy rain in Soo, Kagoshima Prefecture, on Thursday morning.

Jiji Press TOKYO (Jiji Press) — Heavy rains since Saturday have caused landslides at 43 areas in the nation, mainly the Kyushu region, the land ministry said Thursday.

A house in Soo, Kagoshima Prefecture, collapsed in a landslide, leaving an 85-year-old woman dead.

The death toll from the heavy rains increased to two. Three other people suffered minor injury in Kagoshima.

The heavy rains also caused damage to a total of 81 houses in Kagoshima and neighboring Miyazaki and Kumamoto prefectures, as well as the central prefecture of Ishikawa, according to the Fire and Disaster Management Agency.

Authorities called for continued vigilance against landslides after record downpours hit southern Kyushu through Wednesday.

As of 4:30 a.m., 8,489 people were staying in evacuation shelters in western Japan, mainly in southern Kyushu.

On Thursday, areas in the southern part of the Kinki region and the Tokai and Kanto-Koshin regions were lashed by heavy rains as a seasonal rain front extended along coastal areas while a low-pressure system was moving eastward on the rain front.

The Kagoshima island of Nakanoshima saw massive rainfall of 77 millimeters in the hour until 7:40 a.m. Rainfall of 60.5 millimeters was recorded in the hour until around 5:20 a.m. in Toba in the central prefecture of Mie.

Authorities have also warned of lightning strikes and wind gusts due to unstable air produced by the rain front and the low-pressure system.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe called a meeting of ministers to discuss responses to the heavy rains for a third straight day.

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