TOKYO (Sputnik) – Japan has placed evacuation warnings for 1.28 million people living in four southwestern prefectures amid heavy rainfall, floods and landslides, the NHK broadcaster reported on Tuesday, citing local authorities.
The Japan Meteorological Agency has issued a highest-level heavy rain emergency warning on Monday for the residents of Kyushu island, prompting local officials to place evacuation orders for Fukuoka, Kumamoto, Nagasaki and Oita prefectures.
Southwestern Japan has been struck by floods and landslides since Saturday. Heavy rains left 52 people dead, and 12 more were missing. Over 7,000 households lost electricity in the affected prefectures.
Officials say more serious damage is expected and urge residents to evacuate to buildings with strong foundations if they are unable to get to an emergency shelter.
Emergency workers and some 10,000 soldiers are engaged in search and rescue missions.