Huge floods sweep southern Japan, two dead, 20 missing

Unprecedented torrential rain has caused rivers to burst their banks, sweeping away roads and houses, and destroying schools.

Huge floods sweep southern Japan, two dead, 20 missing

World Bulletin / News Desk

At least two people have been killed and about 20 others are missing in huge floods that are surging through southern Japan, with hundreds of thousands of people ordered or urged to flee.

Thousands of soldiers and others were scrambling Thursday to reach people cut off by torrents of swirling water or threatened by landslides, and had rescued 250 people, the government said.

"We are in an extremely serious situation," Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso said, warning of the danger of collapsing hillsides and adding "many people are still missing".

More than 50 centimetres (20 inches) of rain deluged parts of Kyushu, the southernmost of Japan's four main islands, over 12 hours on Wednesday, the meteorological agency said.

Downpours will likely continue through Friday, the agency said as the region grapples with the aftermath of a typhoon that raked the country this week.

Authorities lifted "special" heavy rain warnings for the hardest hit prefectures of Fukuoka and Oita, although other warnings, such as for rain, landslides and flooding, remained in place.

One man was found dead in the city of Asakura in Fukuoka prefecture, while another died in a landslide in Hita in Oita prefecture, officials said.

Japan is deploying 7,800 police, rescue personnel and troops in affected areas of Kyushu, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said, telling reporters that "there are about 20 people who are unaccounted for".

Those included a child reportedly carried off by a fast-flowing river and a couple who had not been seen since their house was swept away.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 06 Temmuz 2017, 13:23