A group of hikers are stranded by rushing floodwater brought by torrential rain. (From Twitter)

YAKUSHIMA, Kagoshima Prefecture--Landslides caused by torrential rain stranded more than 270 people on Yakushima island overnight, but a large majority began descending a mountainous area on May 19.

The largest number of people, or 195, were stranded at the Arakawa starting point for hikers to the famed Jomon-sugi cedar tree, and 34 others were trapped at the Yakusugi Land, a government-designated natural forest of cedar trees and trails.

They began descending on foot on their own, according to the town government and other sources.

Prefectural police also took 24 others stranded at the Arakawa junction of three roads by bus.

Two hikers have suffered twisted-ankle injuries.

Landslides occurred in eastern areas of the island in the afternoon of May 18. Hikers and tourists took shelter from the heavy rain in sightseeing buses or huts to spend an unsettling night amid the continuing downpour.

The Ground Self-Defense Force dispatched about 50 members on a disaster relief mission at the request of the prefectural government.

The intermittent torrential rain has drenched Yakushima island. The amount of rainfall during the 24 hours until 7:40 a.m. on May 19 totaled 446 millimeters, according to the Japan Meteorological Agency.

An evacuation advisory has been issued by the town government for the entire town.