Hundreds of thousands urged to flee as heavy rain hits southern Japan

TOKYO (Reuters) - Torrential rain pounded Japan’s southwestern major island of Kyushu on Monday, hitting 14 inches in 24 hours in one area and triggering landslides and highway closures, with more than 800,000 people urged to evacuate.

One woman in Kagoshima prefecture, southern Kyushu, was killed by a landslide, while evacuation advisories were issued for 388,000 households, or 831,000 people, in Kagoshima and three other prefectures, public broadcaster NHK said.

An evacuation order was issued for 6,000 residents in the city of Ichikikushikino, Kagoshima.

Part of Satsumasendai city saw 361.5 mm (14 inches) of rain over 24 hours from Sunday afternoon, exceeding the average monthly rainfall of 291.5 mm for July, the Japan Meteorological Agency said.

Up to an additional 150 mm of rain is expected in southern Kyushu overnight and on Tuesday, an agency official said.

Reporting by Kiyoshi Takenaka