Skip to main content

Torrential rain kills at least 28 in southern Japan

By Junko Ogura and Jethro Mullen, CNN
updated 9:48 AM EDT, Mon July 16, 2012
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The rain has set off mudslides and caused rivers to overflow
  • Four people remain missing and hundreds are cut off in isolated regions
  • The meteorological agency warns of more heavy rain to come

Are you there? Send your photos and stories to CNN iReport.

Tokyo (CNN) -- Extraordinarily heavy rains have left hundreds of people cut off and at least 28 dead on the southern Japanese island of Kyushu, local authorities said Monday, and more storms could be on their way.

The torrential rain has wreaked havoc across three prefectures on Kyushu over the past several days, causing mudslides, flooding houses and swelling rivers to dangerous levels.

People have been killed after being buried in their homes by landslides and swept away by overflowing rivers.

By Monday, 28 people had died as a result of the the extreme weather, and a further four are missing, according to local authorities in the prefectures of Oita, Kumamoto and Fukuoka. The overwhelming majority of deaths were in Kumamoto.

The downpours have damaged homes across the region and prompted the temporary evacuation of thousands of people, authorities said.

Hundreds of people also remain cut off by mudslides and fallen trees. Local governments have been sending in food and other relief items to the isolated areas via helicopters and teams traveling on foot.

At times, the rain has reached levels never experienced before in the region, the Japan Meteorological Agency said. In one part of Kumamoto, the equivalent of one month's rain fell in the space of just eight hours last week, it said.

The weather conditions have improved Monday, the meteorological agency said, but further heavy rain was expected, including thunderstorms over Kumamoto. The agency warned of a risk of more floods and landslides.

CNN's Junko Ogura reported from Tokyo; Jethro Mullen from Hong Kong. CNN's Yoko Wakatsuki also contributed to this report.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 10:26 AM EST, Wed February 6, 2013
Advocates say the exam includes unnecessarily invasive and irrelevant procedures -- like a so-called "two finger" test.
updated 7:09 PM EST, Tue February 5, 2013
Supplies of food, clothing and fuel are running short in Damascus and people are going hungry as the civil war drags on.
updated 1:01 PM EST, Wed February 6, 2013
Supporters of Richard III want a reconstruction of his head to bring a human aspect to a leader portrayed as a murderous villain.
updated 10:48 AM EST, Tue February 5, 2013
Robert Fowler spent 130 days held hostage by the same al Qaeda group that was behind the Algeria massacre. He shares his experience.
updated 12:07 AM EST, Wed February 6, 2013
As "We are the World" plays, a video shows what looks like a nuclear attack on the U.S. Jim Clancy reports on a bizarre video from North Korea.
The relationship is, once again, cold enough to make Obama's much-trumpeted "reset" in Russian-U.S. relations seem thoroughly off the rails.
Ten years on, what do you think the Iraq war has changed in you, and in your country? Send us your thoughts and experiences.
updated 7:15 AM EST, Tue February 5, 2013
Musician Daniela Mercury has sold more than 12 million albums worldwide over a career span of nearly 30 years.
Photojournalist Alison Wright travelled the world to capture its many faces in her latest book, "Face to Face: Portraits of the Human Spirit."
updated 7:06 PM EST, Tue February 5, 2013
Europol claims 380 soccer matches, including top level ones, were fixed - as the scandal widens, CNN's Dan Rivers looks at how it's done.
updated 7:37 AM EST, Wed February 6, 2013
That galaxy far, far away is apparently bigger than first thought. The "Star Wars" franchise will get two spinoff movies, Disney announced.
updated 7:27 PM EDT, Fri July 25, 2014
It's an essential part of any trip, an activity we all take part in. Yet almost none of us are any good at it. Souvenir buying is too often an obligatory slog.
ADVERTISEMENT