Floods Pour Into Areas of Kyushu, Japan After Tropical Storm

July 6, 2017 Updated: July 6, 2017

Floods washed over parts of Kyushu in southwestern Japan. Three people were found dead and 20 are still missing. Three hundred people are stranded, waiting for rescue.

Twenty inches of rain fell in parts of Fukuoka Prefecture, a northern part of Kyushu. The torrential rain fell for 12 hours, accumulating to about 1.6 times the amount of rain that usually falls in the entire month of July.

Rivers overflowed and swept away cars and buildings. Houses were left with hanging wood planks and holes where uncontrollable waters smashed into them. Rescue workers had to get residents out on boats, often carrying people on their backs to safety.

Over 7,000 rescue workers are in the area. They’ve managed to save 250 people so far. Japan’s Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso warned the public of the potential for collapsing hillsides.

Kyushu is Japan’s third biggest island behind the main island of Honshu, and the northern island of Hokkaido. As Reuters reports, most of the affected area in Kyushu is rural.

When Tropical Cyclone Nanmadol affected a wide area of Japan a few days ago, Kyushu was pummeled with the strongest winds, prompting government flood warnings in its aftermath.

As ABC News reports, even though 600,000 residents were ordered or advised to evacuate Fukuoka, only a fraction did, until they saw rains increase overnight. Roughly 270,000 people were ordered to evacuate in the adjacent Oita prefecture, which also received heavy rains. Trees brought down from mountains could be seen lying in fields and blocking roads. Landslides crushed homes, with some residents just narrowly managing to escape.

The city of Asakura was hit the hardest by flooding. Video footage showed flood waters inundating streets. A senior official in Asakura said the flooding he’s seeing now is much worse than what hit the island five years ago, leaving 30 people dead.

“We have yet to grasp the full picture of the damage,” said Disaster Management Minister Jun Matsumoto.

Major companies in the area were forced to suspend operations in Fukuoka and Oita prefectures, including Daihatsu Motor Co. and Yamato Transport Co. Postal and supermarket deliveries are also delayed.