Japanese authorities on Wednesday ordered the evacuation of around 600,000 people in the southwestern city of Kagoshima due to the heavy rains that have been lashing the region in recent days and are expected to further intensify.
Kagoshima is situated in a bay on the southern island of Kyushu. Some parts of the island have received 900 millimetres of rainfall per square meter since last week.
Kagoshima received 40 mm/m2 between 7 a.m. and 8 a.m. on Tuesday.
The Japan Meteorological Agency has forecast rainfall of around 350 mm/m2 in southern Kyushu by Thursday morning, while some areas in the region could receive up to 80 mm per hour, reported Efe news.
The authorities fear that the downpour could cause mudslides, the main reason to issue the evacuation order for some 600,000 people starting at 9.35 a.m. time, according to the Kagoshima municipality.
The head of the JMA’s weather prediction unit told the media in Tokyo that compared to last year, this time the rains appeared set to last for a shorter period, adding that there was a possibility that the downpour could hamper the evacuation process.