50,000 flee as record rain in Japan kills 17

At least 17 people died, 20 were missing and 50,000 were ordered to evacuate as the heaviest rainfall on record pounded the southwestern Japanese island of Kyushu, officials and reports said Thursday.

Emergency workers in Kumamoto prefecture responded to multiple reports of mudslides swallowing houses and people being trapped, with access roads blocked by mud or gushing water, officials said.

Troops have been deployed with nearly 100 millimetres (four inches) of rain falling in an hour in some areas.

"Particularly in Kumamoto and Oita prefectures, we are seeing the heaviest rain that (the region) has ever experienced," the Japan Meteorological Agency said.

Kyodo news agency put the death toll at 17.

Kumamoto prefecture confirmed the deaths of five women in their 60s, 70s and 80s and an 87-year-old man after waters destroyed their houses.

The local government has received reports of at least 19 missing people, many of them swept away by swollen rivers or going missing after their homes were destroyed.

"Unfortunately, we believe the numbers (of dead and missing) will rise as we get more and more information from the field," a Kumamoto spokesman told AFP.

Local emergency responders have received "many requests" for rescue operations, the spokesman added.

"We may get more rain later and we are increasing our alert level for rivers overflowing," another Kumamoto official said.

In neighbouring Oita prefecture, a man in his 70s died after being swept into a raging river, while another man remained missing.

Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda promised full relief efforts to help affected residents.

"I have heard that this is a record for heavy rainfall. We will take effective measures," he said in a legislative session.

Self Defense Force troops have been deployed to the region for disaster relief efforts at the request of local governors.

The prime minister's office in Tokyo has established a liaison office to coordinate efforts among central government ministries to deal with the disaster.

In Kumamoto prefecture more than 17,000 households had been ordered to evacuate, with 5,000 more advised to seek shelter elsewhere.

Oita authorities issued evacuation orders to nearly 15,000 people and advised a further 10,000 to leave.

In all, more than 50,000 people in Oita and Kumamoto received evacuation orders, according to local media.

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • Mercy pleas for Indonesia death row inmates as families arrive
    Mercy pleas for Indonesia death row inmates as families arrive

    Families of foreign drug convicts set to be hauled before the firing squad in Indonesia issued desperate mercy pleas on Saturday, as France warned of "diplomatic consequences" if one of its nationals is executed. Consular officials and relatives were arriving at a town near Nusakambangan, the high-security prison island where Indonesian executions are carried out, and where all of the death row convicts are now congregated. The foreigners -- two from Australia, one each from Brazil, France …

  • United States seeks access to Philippine bases as part of Asia pivot
    United States seeks access to Philippine bases as part of Asia pivot

    The United States has asked for access to Philippine military bases in eight locations to rotate troops, aircraft, and ships as Washington shifts its forces to Asia and as China expands its military presence in the South China Sea. U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter, in a speech in Arizona, has outlined Washington's next phase in its Asia "pivot", deploying its most sophisticated destroyers, bombers and fighters to the region. The Asia "pivot" has already seen U.S. Marines rotating through the …

  • China's island-building to loom large at SE Asia summit
    China's island-building to loom large at SE Asia summit

    China's creation of new island footholds in contested seas will hover over a Southeast Asian summit that has become an annual test of the region's nerve in standing up to its massive neighbour. The South China Sea hot potato drops this year into Malaysia's lap as the rotating chair of the 10 member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and host of Monday's meeting. ASEAN states Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia and Brunei claim parts of the strategic South China Sea, but Beijing …

  • Philippines, China trade accusations over sea threats

    MANILA, Philippines (AP) — The Philippines accused China of aggressive maneuvers against its reconnaissance plane and fishermen in disputed seas where Beijing has stepped up construction of artificial islands, but China reiterated its claim on the strategic waterways. …

  • Indonesia orders execution of Mary Jane, 9 others
    Indonesia orders execution of Mary Jane, 9 others

    Indonesia has ordered preparations for the execution of 10 drug convicts, including Filipina Mary Jane Veloso, as the Philippine government filed yesterday a second appeal for judicial review of the case to save the maid from death by firing squad. The Attorney General’s Office (AGO) of Indonesia released an official letter dated April 23, instructing prosecutors to prepare for the execution of 10 convicts, the Jakarta Post reported yesterday. The execution would be conducted after the …

  • Business groups back K to 12 program
    Business groups back K to 12 program

    The government’s K to 12 program adding two more years to basic education received support from various business groups yesterday. However, they urged relevant government agencies to deal with issues regarding the implementation of Republic Act 10533, the Enhanced Basic Education Act or K-12 Law. In a statement, business groups led by the Philippine Business for Education (PBEd) said RA 10533 is a milestone piece of legislation that intends to bring the Philippines up to par with the rest of …

  • Happiest nations: Phl ranks 90th
    Happiest nations: Phl ranks 90th

    Switzerland is the happiest country in the world, while the Philippines placed 90th, according to a global ranking of happiness unveiled in New York on Thursday. Switzerland was followed closely by Iceland, Denmark, Norway and Canada. The 2015 World Happiness Report is the third annual report seeking to quantify happiness as a means of influencing government policy. The United Nations published the first study in 2012. …

  • Asean leaders want binding sea code with China
    Asean leaders want binding sea code with China

    Southeast Asian leaders will seek to speed up plans for a binding code of conduct with China governing behavior in the disputed South China Sea at a summit next week, Malaysia’s foreign minister said Friday. Foreign Minister Anifah Aman said a massive flow of Muslim Rohingya refugees from Myanmar to neighboring countries will also be discussed at the two-day summit of the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations, which starts Monday. Anifah said leaders are expected to raise concerns …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options