A total of at least 10 buses for mountain climbers and cars became stranded on Yakushima Island in southwestern Japan on Saturday following heavy rain hitting the region, leaving about 200 people trapped there, local officials said.
The downpour has flooded roads and caused some landslides. All of the 200 people are believed to be safe and many stayed in the vehicles as rescue operations are set to start Sunday due to the weather conditions.
The island, known for its world famous Jomon cedar tree and the 1,936-meter Mt. Miyanoura, is designated as a world natural heritage site by the U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.
According to the local meteorological observatory, torrential rain of around 120 millimeters per hour was observed in the southern area of the Yakushima town in the late afternoon.
An evacuation advisory was issued for 12,431 people in 6,667 households within the entire town.