Japan: “Unprecedented” rains cause evacuation in Hiroshima

Japanese authorities warned that an ongoing heavy downpour could cause a “serious disaster.” Nearly 70,000 people in Hiroshima Prefecture have been asked to evacuate.

At least one person died and tens of thousands of people were told to evacuate as “unprecedented” levels of heavy rains hit western Japan Friday, authorities said.

“There is a possibility that there will be a serious disaster in the coming days,” a spokesman for the Japan Meteorological Agency said.

The rain triggered a landslide in the city of Unzen in Nagasaki early Friday that engulfed two homes with four residents and threatened to cause flooding and more landslides in the region.

The Fire and Disaster Management Agency said one person is presumed dead. Two others remain missing.

The heaviest rainfall occurred in the western prefecture of Hiroshima, where at least 69,500 people received non-binding evacuation orders.

The Japan Meteorological Agency issued a warning of the highest level 5 danger in Hiroshima, adding that the downpours were forecast to continue for several days over large parts of the country.

“We have issued a special warning for heavy rain (in the city of Hiroshima). This is a level of heavy rain we have never experienced before,” the JMA said in a statement.

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