A construction worker was killed in Japan today after being swept away by heavy rains that have prompted landslide warnings and evacuation orders for thousands of people, officials said. The man was one of three workers swept away by flooding in Hyogo prefecture in western Japan, with the other two men rescued and taken to hospital, a local police spokesman told AFP. Parts of Japan have been drenched in recent days by heavy rain, including from a typhoon system, and the country's meteorological agency warned Thursday of more to come.
In a statement it forecast "extremely heavy rains that could continue intermittently for several days to a record-setting level." It also issued warnings of rain-induced landslides across large parts of the Japanese archipelago including Kyushu, Shikoku and western Honshu, three of the four main islands. Local authorities in several areas have ordered residents to evacuate, including in parts of tourist magnet Kyoto. The orders were also issued in parts of the Osaka area hit by an earthquake last month that may have weakened the ground, making landslides more likely.