"Since this morning, 7,500 personnel from the Self-Defense Forces, firefighters and police have been deployed to the scene. Over 40 helicopters are on standby," Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said at an emergency press briefing.
An estimated 556,000 residents in parts of the southwestern Fukuoka and Oita prefectures have been told to evacuate after flash floods and mudslides hit the island in the past two days. The spokesman said there were reports of a child being swept away. According to the NHK news channel, at least ten people are missing.