Rain has continued to fall over vast areas from western to north-eastern Japan, disrupting transportation and business activities, with the public urged to remain vigilant over mudslides, flooding and swollen rivers due to the accumulated rainfall from last week.
The Japan Meteorological Agency alerted residents to possible heavy rain, wind gusts and lightning in the coming days, as a stationary front was expected to remain parked over the Japanese archipelago through the end of the week.
Heavy rain disrupted public transport in the south-western region. Shinkansen bullet train services between Kumamoto and Kagoshima-Chuo stations and some local express trains were suspended from Tuesday morning, their operator Kyushu Railway Co. said.
Mazda Motor Corp. said on Tuesday that it had halted production at its plants in Hiroshima and Yamaguchi prefectures in western Japan due to downpours.
In the south-western city of Unzen, Nagasaki Prefecture, around 200 rescue workers continued their search for two missing people in the morning after a mudslide struck a house last Friday, but they suspended work for several hours due to the risk of a secondary disaster, according to local authorities.
As of 8am Tuesday (17 August), a total of about 4,450 houses in 17 of Japan’s 47 prefectures have been damaged due to the torrential rain, according to the Fire and Disaster Management Agency.
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