Heavy rain in Japan causes mudslide

Mari YamaguchiAAP
Heavy rain and mudslide warnings have been issued for Hiroshima and Kyushu.
Camera IconHeavy rain and mudslide warnings have been issued for Hiroshima and Kyushu. Credit: AP

Torrential rain pounding southwestern Japan has triggered a mudslide that swallowed four people and was threatening to cause flooding and more landslides in the region.

The mudslide early on Friday in the city of Unzen in Nagasaki prefecture hit two houses with four residents in total.

One was presumed dead when found, while another was conscious and able to talk as rescue workers were digging to free them, according to the Fire and Disaster Management Agency.

Two of the residents are still missing.

The Japan Meteorological Agency issued heavy rain and mudslide warnings in parts of the southern main island of Kyushu as well as Hiroshima in western Japan, where a rain front has been dumping record amounts of rainfall since earlier this week.

Television footage on NHK public broadcaster showed rivers swollen with muddy water gushing down, almost overflowing, in Hiroshima.

The highest level of evacuation advisory was issued in parts of Nagasaki and Hiroshima, urging residents to prepare and act early.

The meteorological agency said nearly 500 millimetres of rain fell in parts of Nagasaki in the past 48 hours, exceeding the average for the month of August. More downpours were forecast.

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