At least six people have died in the torrential rains that have hit Japan, Japanese television station NHK reported on Sunday.
A landslide in Nagano prefecture killed a mother and her two children, aged 7 and 12. They had been in a building that was hit by the landslide. They were initially diagnosed with “cardiac and respiratory arrest.” Two other people were injured, three remained unharmed.
In the same prefecture, two elderly women were found by a canal and later pronounced dead.
Earlier, in Nagasaki prefecture on the hard-hit south-western main island of Kyushu, a woman had also died in a landslide. Her husband and daughter were presumed missing.
Although it had stopped raining in large parts of Kyushu on Sunday morning, authorities continued to warn of the danger of flooding and landslides as a result of the softened ground.
In Saga prefecture, a hospital was trapped by floodwaters, but patients were able to be moved to safety on higher floors, according to the media.
More than a dozen rivers in seven prefectures had burst their banks. In Saga, entire streets were flooded by water. Rescue workers brought residents to safety in boats.
In several prefectures in Japan, three times the normal rainfall was measured within one month. Hundreds of thousands of people were called on to move to safety over the weekend.
Heavy rain also fell in the Tokyo metropolitan area. There the authorities also warned residents in areas at risk of flooding via loudspeakers and messages on smartphones. Heavy rainfall is also expected for the next few days.
As a result of global warming, the island nation of Japan is increasingly affected by such heavy rainfall. As a result, landslides are becoming more frequent on the mountainous archipelago.