Tokyo: More than 20 people have died, while nine others were reported missing in Japan’s southern island of Kyushu as devastating rains have caused flooding and landslides, its was reported on Sunday.
Fourteen victims were found in a flooded nursing home in Kumamoto, while the other was pulled from a landslide, said the BBC report.
The deaths have yet to be formally certified.
Kumamoto’s governor, Ikuo Kabashima, told reporters the victims at the nursing home had been found “in cardio-respiratory arrest” – a term used in Japan before a doctor officially certifies death.
Authorities have ordered more than 200,000 to evacuate and 10,000 soldiers are being sent to help rescuers.
Heavy rain is predicted to continue overnight into Sunday.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe urged people to be on “maximum alert”.
The prefectures of Kumamoto and Kagoshima have been worst hit.
Footage shows a bridge over the Kuma river washed away, with other pictures of submerged cars and houses.
Japan’s Meteorological Agency said such rainfall had never been seen before in the region.