At least two people have died and more than one million have been told to flee their homes after the record rains have fallen in southern Japan today.
Evacuation orders were issued for nearly 850,000 on the island of Kyushu after torrential rains struck around 5:00 am on Wednesday, with people advised to leave their homes due to & # 39; a high risk of catastrophes & # 39 ;.
The orders were issued after a man in his fifties died near the town of Takeo, in the Saga prefecture, after his car was wiped out by flood water shortly after 5 hours.
Record-breaking rains flooded three prefectures on Kyushu Island, southern Japan, early Wednesday, causing floods and landslides (photo, a flooded taxi in the city of Saga)
More than a million people have been advised to leave their home due to a high risk of catastrophes. (photo, Saga train station that flooded)
At least two people – a man in their 50s and a man in their 70s – have been confirmed dead, while a third person, a woman in their 50s, is feared dead after being caught in flood water (photo, Saga train station)
Three prefectures in Kyushu – Fukuoka, Saga and Nagasaki – have given evacuation orders as the threat level was increased (see image, Takeo City in the Saga prefecture)
A second man in his & # 39; 70 was also confirmed dead in the city of Yame, about 40 miles from Takeo, where he died trying to escape a flooded car.
A third person, a woman, was feared dead after authorities said they were in a state of & # 39; cardiac arrest & # 39; was found after her car was swept into a water canal.
Government spokesman Yoshihide Suga said: & There are many reports of damage in different areas due to floods of rivers, landslides and submerged houses, and there is a possibility of serious damage in the coming hours. & # 39 ;
Japanese members of the Self Defense Forces are on their way through a flooded street for a rescue operation in Takeo, Saga Prefecture
Evacuation orders and advice issued by local authorities are not mandatory, although civil servants urge residents to comply.
The fire and disaster relief agency said it had already received several reports of flooded houses in the Saga and Nagasaki prefectures.
& # 39; We are seeing unprecedented levels of heavy rainfall in cities where we have issued special warnings & # 39 ;, a Japan Meteorological Agency spokesperson told reporters.
& # 39; It's a situation where you have to do your best to protect your life, & # 39; said weather agency officer Yasushi Kajiwara.
He also urged those living in areas currently under evacuation advice to act quickly.
& # 39; Please don't wait, & # 39; he said.
The JMA's emergency warnings affect areas in Saga, Fukuoka, and Nagasaki, where heavy weather has also disrupted transportation, causing some train services and road closures to be suspended.
A police officer is preventing a car from entering deep and potentially dangerous floods in southern Japan on Wednesday morning
Flood waters are seen after heavy rainfall in the city of Saga, Saga prefecture
Roads are closed and train services disrupted after the Kyushu floods hit
A man wades through running water with his bicycle after heavy rainfall in the southwestern city of Saga, in the Saga prefecture
Television images showed rivers swollen by the rain and parked cars sitting in muddy brown water, almost to the roofs of the vehicles.
Small landslides have already been reported.
At a station in Saga, stranded passengers sat on benches with water around their ankles.
Japanese authorities regularly encourage people to take evacuation orders seriously, especially after disastrous heavy rains last summer in western Japan, where more than 200 people died.
Many of the dead were due to the fact that evacuation orders were issued too late and some people did not follow.
Entire neighborhoods were buried under landslides or submerged in flood water during the disasters.
A map of Japan with the three prefectures in Kyushu where severe weather warnings are present, and with warnings or advice for most of the rest of the country
Cars drive on a flooded road on August 28, 2019 in Kurume, Fukuoka Prefecture, Japan
Police officer works in a flooded street in Saga, Kyushu, when heavy rain hit the city on Wednesday
People walk in flood water after heavy rainfall in the southwestern city of Saga
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