Heavy rainfall hit parts of western Japan from early Friday, causing more than 800 people to evacuate their homes and disrupting train service throughout the region.
In Hiroshima Prefecture, 775 people fled to shelters as of 10 a.m. Friday, while dozens more in Yamaguchi and Ehime also sought refuge. No injuries have been reported in these areas, where more than 200 were killed due to torrential rains last July.
The Japan Meteorological Agency said total rainfall in the half-day period through Friday morning exceeded 200 millimeters in Umaji village in Kochi Prefecture and 170 mm in Taragi town in Kumamoto.
In Hiroshima, JR Sanyo Line services were suspended for about two hours from 6 a.m. after water caused parts of the track to flood. Some 15,000 people were affected with 23 trains suspended or delayed, West Japan Railway Co. said.
Sanyo Shinkansen bullet train services and several JR and private train lines in the region were also temporarily suspended.
In the 24-hours through 6 a.m. Saturday, 200 mm of rain is forecast in the Shikoku region and 120 mm in the southern Kyushu, Kinki and Tokai regions.
The weather agency also said the rainy season appears to have started in wide areas of eastern, central and northeastern Japan on Friday. It declared the season has already started in Okinawa, the Amami region in Kagoshima Prefecture and southern Kyushu.