- The western coast of Japan is being battered by heavy rain that is flooding rivers and submerging streets.
- Authorities have issued evacuation orders for nearly 2 million people because of floods and landslides.
- At least three people – a mother and two boys – have died.
- Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Mudslides and floods caused by heavy rain struck the Japanese west coast last weekend, leaving three dead. Local authorities in seven prefectures have issued the highest level evacuation warning for 1.8 million residents, reported local broadcaster NHK.
The evacuation order is non-compulsory but is used by authorities to alert people that they should either flee or take appropriate actions at home to protect themselves, such as moving to a higher floor.
The Japanese Meteorological Agency has issued various levels of emergency warnings and advisories across much of the country, which is seeing record rainfall in some regions.
Three people – a mother and two young sons from the Nagano prefecture – were found dead after a landslide blew through their house, city officials told Asahi Shimbun.
The torrential rain has flooded rivers and waterlogged entire towns, with rescue teams having to use boats to navigate submerged roads.
“We have not started to survey human or property damage on a full scale,” a city official for Nagasaki prefecture in Kyushu Island, which has seen some of the heaviest rainfall recently, told AFP.
“We have yet to see the full picture of the disaster,” he said.
Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga urged local government bodies on Sunday to cooperate and act quickly on rescue and aid efforts, and to be on high alert even in areas where rainfall is lessening, per Reuters.
Freak weather also hit the northern island of Hokkaido this month. Last week, a cold spell in the middle of summer plunged a city to 36.7°F after it reported temperatures of up to 87.8°F the week before.