TOKYO, July 13 (UPI Asia) – At least 19 people were killed and eight went missing after heavy rains lashed southwest Japan Friday.
Torrential rains in the southern island of Kyushu caused flash floods and mudslides that uprooted trees, and caused widespread damage to property.
About 50,000 people were evacuated from their homes in the area on Thursday after it was hit by the heaviest rainfall on record, Japan Today reported.
The Oita and Kumamoto prefectures were the worst hit from the rains.
At least one 17 people were killed in the city of Aso in Kumamoto prefecture after landslides buried homes and one person was killed in Oita prefecture after getting swept away in a river. The number of killed and missing is expected to rise, local authorities said.
Troops and rescuers were searching for the missing people. The Japan Meteorological Agency has forecast "very heavy rain" in Kyushu later Friday.