Japan braces itself for return of torrential southern rain, after 16 killed in earlier storm

TOKYO (REUTERS) – Torrential rain that hit Japan’s southern island of Kyushu killed 16 people, with 13 going missing and 17 showing no vital signs, public broadcaster NHK said on Sunday (July 5), as the weather agency expects heavy rain to resume by evening.

Saturday’s unprecedented rain in the Kumamoto prefecture of central Kyushu unleashed floods and landslides.

Television broadcast images of overturned cars, people shovelling mud from their homes and the military rescuing stranded residents in boats.

“We had no electricity and no running water,” one rescued woman told the broadcaster. “It was tough.”

The Japan Meteorological Agency urged people to stay vigilant as more rain is predicted.

“From this evening on, extremely heavy rain with thunder are expected in southern as well as northern Kyushu,” an agency official told Reuters.

“The rainfall so far has already loosened the ground. There is a high chance of landslides occurring, even without much additional rain.”

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