southern japan, eartquake.jpg
Photograph: screenshot / earthquake.usgs.gov

At least five people were killed and another person was missing as torrential rains caused landslides and swollen rivers in earthquake-stricken areas of southern Japan, local media reported Tuesday.

The Japan Meteorological Agency warned of flooding, heavy rain and more landslides as agency officials found loose ground in some areas of Kumamoto prefecture following twin major quakes two months ago, which left 49 people dead and one missing.

Overnight, a 92-year-old man died in a landslide in Kamiamakusa city while a 79-year-old man drowned after falling into a watercourse swollen by a downpour in Kosa town, Kyodo News agency reported.

Heavy rain triggered landslides in Uto city, hitting several homes and leaving a 66-year-old man dead and a woman missing, while an 87-year-old man and his 85-year-old wife died in a landslide in the city of Kumamoto, broadcaster NHK reported.

About 550 houses were inundated in Kumamoto prefecture, NHK said, citing local authorities.

More than 100 millimetres per hour of rainfall hit some areas of Kumamoto and Miyazaki on the island of Kyushu, the agency said. The downpour reached 150 millimetres in the hour around midnight in Kosa town in Kumamoto, it added.

Rainfall of up to 150 millimetres was forecast for northern Kyushu by Wednesday evening and up to 120 millimetres for the southern part of the island, the agency said.

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