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Deadly storms hit southern Japan as thousands are evacuated

Tokyo: Japan asked thousands of people to evacuate their homes on its southern island of Kyushu, media said on Saturday, following unprecedented torrential rains in which 15 people are feared dead and nine missing.

With the region facing the risk of further floods and landslides, authorities told 92,200 households in the prefectures of Kumamoto and Kagoshima to vacate their homes, the Kyodo news agency said.

Rescuers work on the rooftop of the house damaged by a landslide in Soo, Kagoshima prefecture, western Japan, on July 4 last year.

Rescuers work on the rooftop of the house damaged by a landslide in Soo, Kagoshima prefecture, western Japan, on July 4 last year.Credit:Kyodo News/AP

“The heavy rainfall is likely to continue until Sunday, and people in the area are required to be on maximum alert,” Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said, adding that as many as 10,000 soldiers would be sent to join the rescue operations.

The flooding of the Kuma River in the region had cut off homes and washed away a bridge, said national broadcaster NHK, which displayed television footage of houses and cars inundated by muddy waters.

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