Continuing heavy rainfall in Kyushu flooded the streets of Saga city, including the area in front of JR Saga Station. (Video footage by Daisuke Matsuoka)

Record rainfall continued to batter large parts of western Japan on Aug. 14 with no clear end in sight, perhaps for as long as another week.

A stalled front dumped record rainfall, leading the Japan Meteorological Agency to issue special heavy rain warnings for the prefectures of Nagasaki, Saga and Fukuoka on the main southern island of Kyushu.

And with the front expected to stall for about a week, one JMA official said, “We cannot forecast when an exit will be reached.”

For the 72-hour period until 10 a.m. on Aug. 14 heavy rainfall was recorded in Ureshino, Saga Prefecture, with 912 millimeters; Unzen, Nagasaki Prefecture, with 847.5 mm; Saeki Ward in Hiroshima city with 348.5 mm; Himi, Toyama Prefecture, with 272.5 mm; and Nakatsugawa, Gifu Prefecture, with 253 mm.

Twenty-six observation points, mainly in Kyushu, reported record rainfall.

The front is also gradually moving eastward, bringing potentially devastating rainfall to large parts of eastern Japan.

A number of rivers in Kyushu burst their banks, prompting the JMA to urge residents in areas at risk of landslides to promptly evacuate, noting that local officials had taken appropriate measures against the spread of the surging novel coronavirus at evacuation centers.

There were concerns that residents may hesitate to evacuate because the congestion at the shelters could heighten the risk of infection.

As of 8 a.m. on Aug. 14, the highest level evacuation order had been issued for 20 municipalities in four prefectures, covering 1,283,848 residents, according to the Fire and Disaster Management Agency.

Among major rivers that flooded was the Rokkakugawa river running through Takeo, Saga Prefecture. Local residents stranded in flooded homes called out for assistance to take them to safety.

“All the homes in the vicinity are flooded out,” said a 64-year-old woman living on higher ground in Takeo. “It looks like the ocean.”

Saga prefectural government officials said they had not received any reports of injury among residents as of 9:30 a.m. on Aug. 14.

Residential areas of Kurume, Fukuoka Prefecture, were also confirmed flooded by the Chikugogawa river. But Kurume city government officials had not received any reports of injury among local residents as of 10:30 a.m.

However, a man living in Shobara, Hiroshima Prefecture, was injured when he became trapped in a landslide behind his home. He injured his hip and legs.

For the 24-hour period until 6 p.m. on Aug. 15, the JMA forecast as much as 300 mm could fall on the Tokai region; 250 mm in the Kanto-Koshin region; 200 mm in the northern Kyushu, Shikoku, Chugoku and Kinki regions; 180 mm in the southern Kyushu region; and 100 mm in the Hokuriku and Tohoku regions.

(This article was compiled from reports by Ryo Yamagishi, Hideki Murakami and Satsuki Tanahashi.)