Stranded hikers climb down the mountains on May 19 after torrential rain caused landslides in Yakushima, Kagoshima Prefecture.

YAKUSHIMA, Kagoshima Prefecture--More than 300 people who were stranded overnight due to torrential rain and landslides on Yakushima island were all led to safety on May 19.

Ground Self-Defense Force and police rescuers guided the 314 hikers and others on foot using ropes and other equipment. There were no reports of major injuries.

“I underestimated (the power of nature). I felt more dead than alive,” said Noriko Kudo, 61, from Shibetsu, Hokkaido, showing relief on her face.

Kudo said that while climbing the mountains on May 18, a road was blocked by landslides and a muddy stream. Clinging to a rope that her guide stretched across the road, she passed through it by walking sideways.

Many of the climbers were headed to see the Jomon-sugi tree, which is thousands of years old and a symbol of Yakushima island. But some were forced to stay overnight at the Arakawa starting point.

Some others were trapped at the Yakusugi Land, a forest of cedar trees and trails.

Kaoru Kawaguchi, 30, from Yoshikawa, Saitama Prefecture, said of the ordeal, “It was scary.” She spent the night in a bus with others.

“Although the heater was on, everyone was soaked and said, 'It’s cold,’" Kawaguchi recalled. "There was a person who had chocolates, and we shared them."

According to the town government office, a 60-year-old woman with a sprained foot was taken by ambulance to a hospital, while a 27-year-old man was reported to be suffering from hypothermia. The town planned on May 20 to check and make sure that no one remained in the mountains.

The rainfall in an hour until 6:44 p.m. on May 18 totaled a record 100 millimeters in the Onoaida district of Yakushima, according to the Japan Meteorological Agency.

(This article was written by Minori Kiwaki and Sho Ito.)