Some 100 000 people have been ordered or advised to evacuate on Wednesday, July 5, 2017 after extreme amounts of rain hit western Japan, causing major floods and landslides. As of late afternoon (local time), at least one person has been killed and 6 are still missing, believed to be buried under mud or swept away by raging rivers. Parts of Fukuoka Prefecture saw 398 mm (15.6 inches) of rain within just 4 hours, more than the region usually receives during the entire month of July. Heavy rain is expected to continue at least until Thursday night.
The Japan Meteorological Agency issued top-level severe weather warning for parts of western Japan as a seasonal rain front brought in wet air from the East China Sea, causing a strip of storm clouds to develop. Heavy rain, flood and landslide warnings have been issued for Kyushu prefectures of Fukuoka, especially the city of Fukuoka, Oita, Kumamoto and Saga prefectures as well as Hiroshima and Shimane prefectures, further north.
According to data provided by the JMA, about 110 mm (4.3 inches) of rain fell in just 1 hour in the vicinity of Ukiha City, Fukuoka Prefecture, and in the vicinity of Nakatsu River in Hita City, Oita Prefecture. 120 mm (4.7 inches) and more was measured within 1 hour around Asakura City, in Kurume, and Higashimine village in Fukuoka Prefecture. The same amount was measured in the vicinity of Tosu City, Saga Prefecture.
JMA’s weather station located in Kurokawa, Asakura City measured 398 mm (15.6 inches) of rain within just 4 hours. This is more rain than this regions sees during the entire month of July.
Flooding was reported at two rivers in Asakura and at least one bridge has reportedly been lost. Residents in one community have been isolated as rivers overflowed, the Asakura city government said, as reported by Japan Today.
Some 23 000 residents of Asakura had been ordered to evacuate and another 13 000 in Kurume, also in Fukuoka.
Six people are feared to have been buried in mud or swept away by swollen rivers in the cities of Asakura and Uki.