Photo/IllutrationThe Terayama Charcoal Kiln, a UNESCO World Heritage site, was hit by a landslide in the Yoshino district of Kagoshima. (Provided by Kagoshima city’s cultural property division)

  • Photo/Illustraion
  • Photo/Illustraion

Torrential rain caused a landslide that buried part of the Terayama Charcoal Kiln, a UNESCO World Heritage site, in Kagoshima Prefecture, as warnings for heavy thunderstorms in southern Kyushu were extended to July 5.

The Japan Meteorological Agency also said the risk of landslides in the region has increased because the continuing rainfall has loosened the soil.

The JMA said the situation will likely continue because an active rainy reason front remains hovered over Kyushu and is creating unstable weather conditions.

According to the JMA, 778.5 millimeters of rain fell from June 28 to 11 a.m. on July 2 in the Ebino district of Ebino, Miyazaki Prefecture, while 596.5 mm hit the Yaeyama district of Satsuma-Sendai, Kagoshima Prefecture, over the same period.

In the Higashi-Ichiki district of Hioki, Kagoshima Prefecture, a city-record 313.5 mm of rain fell on July 1 alone.

A Kagoshima city official on July 1 confirmed the damage at the Terayama Charcoal Kiln from landslides on its northern upper side, which featured walking paths.

The Terayama Charcoal Kiln was built in 1858 in the Yoshino district at the end of the Edo Period (1603-1867) by Shimazu Nariakira (1809-1858), the lord of the Satsuma domain, who pushed for the modernization of Japan.

The Terayama Charcoal Kiln produced charcoal that produced intense heat and fueled reverberating furnaces for refining iron.

The kiln was made by piling thick-cut stones in an arc that reached 2.5 meters high.

In 2015, it was registered to the World Heritage list as a site of Japan’s Meiji Industrial Revolution.

According to Kagoshima city’s cultural property division, part of the stacked stones collapsed on June 28 apparently because of the heavy rain.