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Heavy Rains Claim 18 Lives in Japan

Tokyo (July 9, 2017): At least 18 people were killed and hundreds are still stranded after heavy rains triggered floods and landslides this week in southwest Japan.

According to the details, fifteen people died in Fukuoka and three in Oita Prefecture. An evacuation order remains in effect for nearly 105,000 people.

More than 7,800 rescuers from the Fukuoka police force and Japan self defense forces have been working around the clock to search for missing people. But heavy rain on Friday hampered their efforts, making rescue operations treacherous as they battled against thick mud and debris.

Earlier this week, Asakura experienced more than one and a half times its monthly average rainfall in a period of 24 hours. Asakura normally receives 354 milimeters (14 inches) per month, but on Wednesday received up to 525 milimeters (20.6 inches).

More rains are expected as the monsoonal season continues to impact east Asia. An additional 50 milimeters (2 inches) of rainfall could lead to more landslides in Fukuoka.

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