The death toll from heavy rain and flooding in southern Japan has risen to 16 as the rescue workers reached isolated villages where at least six others are reportedly missing and feared dead. This comes days after Typhoon Nanmadol swept across Japan, triggering floods and mudslides that wrecked hundreds of homes, roads and rice terraces.
Meanwhile, the authorities have warned of more downpours over the weekend, compounding the misery that the summer storms have brought to the area since Wednesday.
NHK state broadcaster reported that some neighborhoods have been devastated by flooding and landslides, and rescue workers and residents have been picking their way through expanses of broken, water-logged trees, branches and mud. "All the mud and debris is making the clean-up effort difficult," Susumu Higuchi, a resident of Asakura told Reuters.
According to Japan's weather agency, the city was pounded by more than 600 mm (24 inches) of rain in the 24 hours to 5 a.m. (2000 GMT) on Saturday. The authorities said that heavy machinery was used to clear almost knee-deep mud from streets while nearby, an uprooted tree was tangled in cables from an electricity power pole. A police dog was hunting for victims in flooded homes, many now clogged with debris.
The weather agency said that 150 mm of rain was forecast to fall in industrialized Northern Kyushu in the 24 hours to 6 am on Sunday. Some places have seen more rainfall in a matter of hours than they usually get in the whole month of July. It has been caused due to a low pressure area on the Pacific Ocean that fed warm, moist air into Japan's seasonal rainy front.