A number of rivers broke their banks and warnings were in effect that others, including the Kimotsuki River at Kagoshima, were in danger of doing so.
In one of the hardest hit areas, residents spelled the words “rice, water, SOS” on the floor, while others waved towels and asked for help and relief.
Hirokazu Kosaki, a 75-year-old bus driver in the city of Ashikita, told the Jiji press: “It was nothing but water to my knowledge. ”
Cabinet chief secretary Yoshihide Suga said at a press conference on Monday: “I offer my sincere condolences to those who have passed away from the torrential downpours,” adding that some 40,000 force members self defense were involved in rescue missions.
Monday morning, in Miyazaki prefecture, 120 mm of rain fell in one hour, while in the neighboring prefecture of Kagoshima, 110 mm fell over the same period. An additional 300 to 400 mm is expected to fall Tuesday evening in southern Kyushu, with 250 to 300 mm expected to hit the northern part of the island as more and more rain clouds move in the region.
More than 200,000 residents of the most affected Kumamoto Prefecture were asked to evacuate over the weekend, some reluctant to go to shelters for fear of coronavirus infection. It has been confirmed that more than 4,500 houses are without electricity and about 2,000 have been cut off by flood water.
“It’s such a mess,” Hirotoshi Nishi, a resident of the country, told public broadcaster NHK as he swept the debris from his room before it was strewn with mud. “Many pieces of wood entered my house. I do not know what to do. “
Tens of thousands of firefighters, coast guards and members of the Self-Defense Forces have participated in rescue and recovery operations, and others are en route to the region.
Ikuo Kabashima, governor of Kumamoto prefecture, came under fire from certain neighborhoods for opposing a roadblock planned to help prevent flooding. The former Harvard-educated university professor has promised to study alternative flood prevention plans, all of which have been rejected due to cost.
Heavy rains are expected to spread across the country until Tuesday, bringing 200 to 300 mm to the Kansai region around Osaka and to the Kanto region around Tokyo.