Heavy rain in southern Japan triggered flooding and mudslides on Saturday, leaving at least two presumed dead, about 10 missing and dozens stranded on rooftops waiting to be rescued, officials said, The Associated Press reported.
More than 75,000 residents in the southern prefectures of Kumamoto and Kagoshima were asked to evacuate following pounding rains overnight. The evacuation is not mandatory and it was not known how many actually fled.
Japan’s NHK television footage showed large areas of Hitoyoshi town in Kumamoto inundated in muddy waters that gushed out from the Kuma River. Many cars were submerged up to their windows.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe set up a task force, vowing to do utmost to rescue the missing. He said up to 10,000 defense troops were being mobilized for rescue operations.