Two people were found dead near rain-swollen rivers in Japan today, officials said, as "record" downpours prompted authorities to order more than 210,000 people to evacuate their homes. The body of a woman was found by a river in central Japan's Gifu while a 59-year-old man was confirmed dead after being found by a river in western Hiroshima prefecture, local police said.
Police said they were investigating how the two died, while public broadcaster NHK said a third woman was feared dead after being found unresponsive by a river in the Kyoto region. Yesterday, a construction worker was killed when he was swept away by flood waters in the Hyogo region, as a severe rainfront drenches much of the country. Several people have been reported missing, with landslides reported in some areas and flash floods in others.
Authorities announced new evacuation orders on Friday, bringing the number of people told to leave their homes to 210,853, most of them in western Japan. "Japan is seeing record heavy rainfall across a broad area," Ryuta Kurora of the Meteorological Agency told reporters. "The torrential rain will continue until the day after tomorrow," he said.
Yanasa in Umaji village, Kochi prefecture, saw 1,132 millimetres (44 inches) of rain in 72 hours, which is double the total amount that usually falls in the month of July, according to NHK. The downpours temporarily halted bullet train services in western Japan, which resumed on Friday.