Kagoshima Governor Visits Rain - Hit Yakushima

Kagoshima governor visits rain-hit Yakushima

The governor of Japan's southern prefecture of Kagoshima has visited Yakushima Island, two days after the UNESCO World Heritage site was hit by record rainfall.

What is described as the heaviest rain in 50 years caused mudslides and other damage on Saturday, leaving more than 300 hikers stranded on a mountain. By Sunday evening, 314 people had descended safely.

On Monday morning, Kagoshima Governor Satoshi Mitazono visited an area near the entrance to a mountain trail and was briefed about the damage.

Mitazono said the mudslides are bigger than he had expected. He suggested that he will work with the Yakushima authorities to ensure that people will still be able to visit the World Heritage site.

Self-Defense Force personnel have been searching mountain trails and huts for any other stranded people.

Officials say four houses were flooded and mudslides blocked several roads.

They say water supplies have been cut in most of the Nagamine district, where about 400 people live.

On Kuchinoerabu-jima Island, which is under the jurisdiction of Yakushima Town, more than 90 people in the Honmura district have no running water.