Some 800,000 people evacuated in southern Japan because of torrential rains and the danger of landslides
Met office urges people to take protective action and flee. Fearing large-scale disasters, Kagoshima Prefecture calls on the military to help. Rain will continue until late tomorrow morning.
Tokyo (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Three cities in Kagoshima Prefecture, southern Japan, including the regional capital, issued evacuation orders this morning for the entire population of 798,170 inhabitants, as torrential rains continue to fall on the region, increasing the risk of landslides.
The Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) held an emergency press conference this morning, urging people to leave quickly. "Downpours often make it difficult to leave,” it announced. “Please be aware of the need to protect your own lives, and evacuate as soon as possible without waiting for a special warning to be issued."
“Please take action to protect your lives,” said Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, as he called on residents in affected areas to move during a Cabinet meeting. He also instructed ministers to further brace for disasters and fully respond to them.
Kagoshima Governor Satoshi Mitazono told reporters that the Prefecture asked Japan’s Self-Defence Forces to deploy in order to assist with disaster relief, saying that there is an extremely high risk of large-scale disasters.
The Kagoshima Municipal Government issued an emergency evacuation order for all of its 594,943 residents in 275,287 households.
The authorities expect that torrential rains to continue until late tomorrow morning and warn that potentially lethal landslides are imminent.
The city urged residents, especially those who live near cliffs, rivers and other dangerous areas, to flee immediately to safer places.
The city opened another 90 evacuation centres today in addition to shelters it had already set up, and decided to provide food and other basic supplies to evacuees.
The Kirishima Municipal Government also issued an evacuation order to all of its 125,868 residents in 61,395 households.
Small-scale landslides occurred in different parts of the city, forcing a total of 110 inhabitants in 69 households to evacuate within twenty minutes of the alert.
After Kirishima, the neighbouring city of Aira also evacuated 77,359 people in 36,801 households.