Japan’s weather agency has issued a warning of the most severe rain ever witnessed in the region. Tragically, one person has already lost their life in southwestern Japan, while three others remain missing due to landslides caused by torrential downpours. Reports from the local fire department confirm that a 77-year-old woman was tragically killed when a landslide engulfed her home overnight in rural Fukuoka. In response to the dire situation, authorities have ordered tens of thousands of residents on Japan’s southwestern island of Kyushu to evacuate their homes immediately. The Japan Meteorological Agency has urged people to seek shelter as the heavy rainfall poses a significant risk of flooding and landslides across the Fukuoka and Oita regions.
The issuance of the highest-level warning for heavy rain in parts of Fukuoka and Oita prefectures underscores the severity of the situation. Officials are expressing concerns over the unprecedented intensity of the rainfall, which surpasses anything seen before. To coordinate an effective response to the ongoing rains, the prime minister’s office has established a task force. Additionally, the downpour has led to the suspension of bullet train services between western Hiroshima and Fukuoka. Japan is currently in the midst of its annual rainy season, which often brings heavy downpours and increases the risks of flooding, landslides, and casualties. Scientists have noted that climate change is exacerbating the threat of heavy rain in Japan and other regions, as a warmer atmosphere has the capacity to hold more water.
The safety and well-being of the affected residents remain a top priority, and authorities are working diligently to minimize the impact of the severe weather conditions. As Japan grapples with the challenges posed by this unprecedented rainfall, efforts to mitigate the effects of climate change and enhance disaster preparedness continue to be of utmost importance.