Heavyl Rain Batters Southern Japan

Heavyl rain batters southern Japan

Flooding in parts of southern Japan caused by torrential rain has inundated many residential areas. Authorities say over 15 people have no vital signs and others are missing.

A band of cloud hung over southern Japan on Saturday, dumping rain on Kumamoto Prefecture although the downpour has eased for now.

The Kuma River has overflowed in more than 10 places. 14 people have been found without vital signs at a nursing home for the elderly in a flooded area.

Three people elsewhere are also without vital signs while officials have confirmed one death.

They are still unable to make contact with a further seven people.

Rescuers trying to reach stranded residents are facing blocked roads.

Many people are seeking shelter at evacuation centers.

A woman said, "It wasn't like normal rain. I honestly never imagined it could be so powerful."

A man said, "The smell of the river and the muddy water was intense. I could feel the vibrations from the churning water through the road next to the riverbank."

The Japanese government is sending some 10,000 Self-Defense Force members to the region, and the Disaster Management Minister will also head to affected areas.

Forecasters warn the weather front is set to linger until around next Wednesday with more heavy rain expected.

They say there's a risk of flooding in low-lying areas, overflowing rivers, lightning strikes, and sudden gusts of wind.